BY JENNIFER BAILEY email@example.com
---- — Concerned residents in Vermilion Heights will learn more tonight at a public meeting about J&R Used Tire Service coming to the old Pierce Co. property.
The public meeting with city officials and tire business owner Rodney Rogers begins at 6 tonight at Battle Focus Ministries Church, 501 Cunningham Ave.
Rogers said he’s been operating his business at the old General Motors site in Tilton since September. A fire destroyed his Hoopeston facility in June 2013.
He took over ownership of the property at 434 Avenue B in The Heights, south of Francis Street and between Avenue B and Avenue C on the south side of the highway down to the river, at the beginning of the year. He said he still might lease the Tilton building, but he’s not sure.
“I plan on running part of my operations over here,” Rogers said of the Danville site. “I might keep both.”
The shredding of tires will occur at the Danville site.
Rogers said he had 33 employees before the fire, and 22 now. He has clients in Indiana, Kentucky and elsewhere.
One of the items the business makes is weights for highway construction cones, Rogers said.
Ward 2 Alderman Rick Strebing has received phone calls from concerned residents since just before Christmas. Residents expressed concerns about any stored tires, noises and trucks, permits needed, house values being affected and other issues.
Chris Milliken, planning and urban services manager with the city, said Rogers will use an office building already in existence, but plans to build a 7,000-square-foot warehouse. Construction could start in the next month or so.
Milliken said trucks will come and unload tires, the tires will be sorted and shredded and dumped to another truck for hauling out. This facility won’t be like the Hoopeston facility, which had different lines and products crafted, Milliken said.
“There will be no storage anywhere on the property,” Milliken said.
He added Rogers told city officials operations will be Monday through Friday, with seven to nine small passenger trucks per day and four to six semis a day. There will be five to six employees on site at any given time, Milliken also said.
Milliken said the site is zoned I-1 light industrial and doesn’t need any special-use permit or rezoning.
Milliken said Mayor Scott Eisenhauer and Vermilion Advantage’s Linda Bolton has met with Rogers about the business and site and about the importance of letting the neighborhood residents know what is going on with the property.