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Waynedale right-of-way request withdrawn

A request for the city to vacate a right-of-way that had riled a Waynedale neighborhood is no more.

Patrick Hipskind had asked the city to give up the right of way it owns to extend Belle Vista Boulevard 1,300 feet west, but the proposal stalled for weeks as neighbors vehemently opposed it.

Two weeks ago, Hipskind jokingly introduced himself to the council as "the villain," and apologized for all the fuss.

"If I had known it would cause this much trouble and grief, I wouldn't have asked," he said.

Tuesday, as the council was set to decide the matter, the request was withdrawn.

Neighbors feared they would lose a trail connecting Belle Vista to nearby ball fields and that Hipskind would use the right-of-way to run dump trucks hauling top soil out of the field. They raised questions about digging in the floodway, about the holes being dug and whether a guardrail would be removed opening another access point for trucks.

Tax break approved

Council members unanimously approved a tax abatement for Hoosier Pride Plastics, 6120 Highview Drive. Officials said the $465,000 investment in injection molding equipment will create four full-time jobs.

They also began the process of considering property tax abatements for a $325,000 investment at States Engineering, 10216 Airport Drive; a $374,325 project at Wagner-Meinert, 7617 Freedom Way; and a $6.9 million project by Randall Lofts at 220 Pearl Street. Public hearings on all three are set for Oct. 23.

Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, complained that council members voted unanimously to approve the tax break for Hoosier Pride Plastics, but has refused to approve a tax break for a $2 million development near Dupont Hospital for Ophthalmology Consultants. Some members have said they don't believe tax breaks should be given for professional services providers such as medical offices; some have said they won't vote until the policy is decided one way or another.

Didier said it seems foolish to vote for a tax break for a company creating jobs that pay an average of $26,000 a year, but turn down a much bigger investment creating jobs paying up to $175,000 a year. The Ophthalmology Consultants proposal is being held indefinitely until a policy on professional services abatements is formed.

dstockman@jg.net

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