Archbold Planning Commission approved the construction of a small racetrack, and the placement of logos on the Archbold Area School District wind turbine during its Monday, April 30 meeting.
The decision of the planning commission must go before Archbold Village Council at its Monday, June 4 meeting for final approval.
Vern Nemire, owner of the NuArch Lanes, sought a permit to construct a racecourse for one-tenth scale, radiocontrolled racecars.
Under the village zoning code, the track is considered a “conditional use in a B-2 highway business-zoned area,” which requires approval of planning commission and council.
Nemire told the commission he has been in Archbold 21 years, and always promoted family activities. He said, “The family that plays together, stays together.”
He said he and Shawn Stevens, Archbold, attended a race at a radio-controlled track at Angola, Ind.
“I was amazed. Around a little track, 50 feet wide by 90 to 100 feet long, there were 50 cars, representing 50 families parked around it.”
He tried to build a track in front of his bowling center prior to the 2011 Carp Fest, but could not get the necessary permits in time.
Nemire said the track could draw racers from a wide area, which could benefi t five restaurants on Archbold’s south side.
“They’re going to get something to eat, and they’re going to buy gas,” he said.
He said revenue from racing could supplement income from his bowling operation, which is usually down during the summer months.
Batteries and electric motors power the racers so they’re quiet, he said. Because they are small, and the track will have a clay surface, Nemire doesn’t expect dust to be a problem.
Stevens said cars are broken into classes, with both heat and feature races. He said many Archbold residents have racers, and he’s seen them at other tracks in the region.
The track will have an elevated tower, to allow drivers an overhead view of the course. Nemire said he has talked to Bil-Jax, a local scaffolding manufacturer, about the project.
Nemire anticipates hosting races on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Don Spohler, commission member, said small gasoline engines are also built for the tiny racers, which could create a noise problem. Nemire said the track will only allow electric-powered cars.
Board members also talked about hours of operation. Nemire and Stevens said racing would be restricted to late afternoon and evening hours, to avoid the cost of installing lights.
Jim Wyse, board member, suggested racing be limited to daylight hours.
Board members discussed what would happen if the track fell into disuse. Carma Grime, village zoning inspector, said there are adequate zoning laws to address that problem.
The board unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the track, with the restrictions of no gasolinepowered cars and daylight racing only.
David Deskins, superintendent of the Archbold Area School District, brought a proposal before the board to place the school district logo on the sides of the wind turbine nacelles.
He told board members current plans call for the turbine tower to be built and the nacelle (containing the generator and mechanical equipment) to be placed atop the tower in June.
Blades are scheduled to be installed in July.
On one side, which will predominantly face south toward Lafayette Street, willbea71/2-foot-tallletter “A” and the words “Blue Streaks.” The other side will have the letter A and the lightning bolt logo.
He said the logo on the turbine will be about 213 feet above the ground. By comparison, the AHS letter “A” on the village water tank is six feet tall and about 115 feet above the ground.
Deskins said school offi cials are working with the general contractor to possibly get the decals for the nacelle from Three Cord LLC, Archbold.
The decals are expected to last about eight to 10 years. Deskins said they are working to extend that time period.
In a Tuesday interview, Steve Switzer, Pettisville Local Schools superintendent, said permits for similar logos were approved for its wind turbine project.
He said the Pettisville wind turbine will be constructed after Archbold’s.– David Pugh