MEDINA — City Council approved a purchase of land Monday that lays the groundwork for the proposed extension of Commerce Drive in the city’s industrial area.
Council authorized the purchase of 6.4 acres of vacant land for $192,885 in a field between Branch Road and state Route 18.
Mayor Dennis Hanwell said construction of the proposed extension is slated to begin in 2011.
“Our hope was to do some of the preparatory work in 2010 so we were ready to go for it,” Hanwell said. “Our belief is that it’s going to help significantly with our truck traffic by bringing them out to state Route 18.”
City Engineer Patrick Patton said the project has been discussed for 10 years and made it into the city’s five-year budget plan four years ago. The project’s cost is estimated at $2.4 million, he said.
“We will try to get a grant for it, but barring that (the funds) will come out of the income tax fund for streets,” he said Tuesday. “I think that this is going to be a very beneficial project.”
A common complaint from industries on the west side of Medina is that trucks have trouble using the narrow turning lanes on West Smith Road, and the roads are in “deplorable condition,” Hanwell said.
He said that, by purchasing the land, the city will have the potential to attract new businesses.
“We don’t need the entire 6.4 acres, we need about two acres, but the rest will be reserved for future purchases to sell to those who want to start new businesses,” Hanwell said.
The land became available when McJak Candy Co. was purchasing land from the same property owners for the expansion of its facilities.
McJak owner Larry Johns said the 12,000-square-foot building expansion, due to be completed in June, will make McJak one of the largest producers of gourmet lollipops in North America.
Johns said the founders of the company, William Lonjak and Karen McCurdy, owned the property purchased by McJak and the city.
“I think they’ve been hoping that we or the city would be needing it in the future,” Johns said of the property owners.
McCurdy and Lonjak could not be reached for comment.
Johns said the extension would be a boon to his company, at 1087 Branch Road, almost directly across from where Commerce Drive ends.
“This building will be more accessible,” Johns said. “There are two more truck docks on the new expansion, and this will be very beneficial.”
Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or email@example.com.
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