A1 A1
Chamber holds virtual luncheon; Awards Gala postponed

The 2021 State of the Chamber Virtual Luncheon wasn’t actually a luncheon because nobody on the Zoom call was eating on camera.

The Wednesday afternoon event began with outgoing Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Metz welcoming everyone to the first 2021 Chamber event.

“Gosh, we certainly look forward to the day we can be together again in person,” she said. “We know everybody has had a lot of trials and tribulations, and this technology – thank you Courtney [Chapella] for getting us started on this.”

Metz thanked everyone on the call for the continuing support of the Chamber.

“I want to let you know I appreciate your encouragement and friendship bestowed upon me for many many years, and I will miss you all,” she said.

Metz said she’d spend her retirement getting closer to her family.

Then she announced the annual Awards Gala held in February will be postponed to the fall.

“You all know this is the must-attend event of the year,” she said. “It’s one of the events I’m going to miss the most because it’s so honoring to recognize the individuals that make us who we are here in Shelby County.”

The Chamber is working with Indiana Grand to determine a new date.

She also announced the Chamber would have two legislative sessions scheduled for 2021. The first one is scheduled to be held virtually from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 19.

“We have our representatives confirmed, so Representative Sean Eberhart and Senators Jean Leising and Michael Crider will be joining us, and we certainly hope you will mark your calendars to join us as well,” she said.

Metz then introduced the outgoing Chamber Board President, Travis Edington.

Edington said the year was “not normal.”

“I want to get some thank yous out of the way, and I want to start with the Chamber staff,” he said. “Of course, Julie with your leadership over the past 13 years, you will be sorely missed. Also Courtney Chapella and Ashley Smith, thank you for everything you’ve done this year.”

“I would like to recognize and thank all of the board members,” he added.

Lastly, Edington thanked all the applicants for the executive director position. Then he introduced the new director, Donna Christian.

“Thank you for your professionalism and a chance for me to make my mark on Shelby County,” she said. “Being a lifelong resident of the county and never being employed in the county, it just feels like I’ve come home. And home is a great feeling.”

Christian unveiled some of her short-term plans and goals.

“I have so many ideas floating around in my noggin that I can’t even sleep at night,” she said.

Christian wants to build friendships and visibility.

“I want to continue to build strong relationships throughout the community,” she said. “There is a saying, ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ so that’s why it is important that we still get together and see each other even if it’s over Zoom.”

She also said “it’s all about promotion.”

“There’s all these things you as members can enjoy free of cost,” she said. “Talk to us, work with us. If you’re a member, we want to make sure you’re taking advantage of everything. We want to make sure you’re promoted.”

Christian thanked the corporations and businesses involved with the Chamber, and said that the it would continue to offer training and resources for them.

“All of these events are designed for you to build your business in some fashion, whether it’s through training, promotion, networking or community service,” she said. “Please take advantage of these benefits.”

Then Christian introduced the new Chamber Board President, Katie Rowland.

“I’m honored to be the 2021 board president,” Rowland said. “I know I have some very large shoes to fill. There have been so many former fantastic board presidents, including Travis Edington.”

Rowland said she enjoyed working with the Chamber because she knows how important and how crucial the role they serve in the community is.

“Our Chamber is probably one of the best resources out there,” she said. “We’re definitely a pro-business advocate and an organization that remains committed to helping our members connect with Shelby County businesses, products and services.”

Lastly, Rowland thanked the Chamber staff and members.

Sidewalk work on North Harrison

Beaty Construction members work on the sidewalk next to the southbound lanes on North Harrison this week.

Hoosiers 70 and older can schedule vaccine appt.

Hoosiers age 70 and older can now begin scheduling appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to MHP Incident Command.

Appointments can be scheduled by visiting https://ourshot.in.gov. Please prepare for long hold times because the number of eligible individuals has greatly increased and call volumes and website traffic is high. Those needing assistance with registration can call 211 or one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging. A caregiver or loved one also may make an appointment on behalf of an eligible senior.

“If you happen to get Covid in the period between your first dose and second dose of the vaccine, you may still get the second dose after you recover or after your quarantine period,” Incident Command said. “If you have received Regeneron or ‘Bam,’ then you should wait 90 days to receive the Covid vaccine.”

MHP saw 41 new positive COVID-19 cases since Jan. 11.

Of the 41 new positive cases, 8 patients required inpatient care and 33 remained outpatient.

“Our in-house Covid rapid antigen testing is going great and has eliminated the delay in results, especially for our Surgery Department,” MHP said. “All testing supplies are good at this time.”

The Emergency Department is busy, but stable, Incident Command said. Of the 54 patients that we have seen in the last 24 hours, 42 percent of them had an ESI of 1 or 2 – This is an indicator of very high acuity for those patients.

MHP had 31 patients on the third floor and 6 of those patients were in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) Wednesday afternoon. MHP had 13 discharges Wednesday for medical, non-Covid patients.

There were nine beds available on the third floor.

MHP had 19 inpatients test positive for COVID.

MHP had five ventilators in use, two BiPAPs in use, and one trilogy unit in use. This left them with 12 ventilation units available.

Tourism seeking volunteers for Big 10 XC meet

The Big 10 Cross Country Championship will take place Jan. 30 at Blue River Memorial Park.

Shelby County Tourism Board Executive Director Rachel Ackley is looking for volunteers willing to be ambassadors at our hotels for the meet.

“The dates are: Thursday evening January 28, All day Friday January 29 and Saturday morning on January 30,” she posted on Facebook. “You’ll be a Shelby County Ambassador – assisting all of our visitors with any questions they may have regarding the venue, directions and restaurants.”

Anyone interested can reach out to Ackley on Facebook. She can also be reached by email at rachael@visitshelbycounty.com.

“Thanks in advance for helping to make this a great event for the B1G 10 Championships and our community!!” she posted.

The Blue River Course has hosted several collegiate and high school meets, including the Shelbyville Semi-State.

No public spectators will be allowed at the event.

BZA approves new Speedway station variances; Take appeal case under advisement

The City of Shelbyville Board of Zoning Appeals elected new officers Tuesday evening.

Chris Clark was elected to serve as Chairman, and Jim Lisher was elected to serve as Vice Chairman.

“I’ll give it my best shot,” Lisher said.

The BZA began their meeting with new business to help the meeting go quicker. All three items under new business pertain to the same project.

Speedway LLC petitioned for one special exception to allow for fuel sales in conjunction with a convenience store in the BH – Business Highway district at 3877-3977 North Michigan Road.

“The staff recommendation is approval with four conditions,” Plan Director Adam Rude said. “First is to limit the number of fuel pumps designed for larger vehicles to five, limit the number of parking spaces for larger trucks to five, prohibit long-term or overnight parking on the site, and require signage placed throughout indicating the prohibition of long-term or overnight parking.”

Eric Carter from Speedway presented the site plan.

“So what we’re looking at is for the convenience store, a 4,608 square foot building with grab and go food items,” he said. “There would not be a shower or restaurant like you’d see at a typical truck stop. Speedway uses a fuel and go operation.”

Carter proposed three commercial fueling lanes, 25 auto parking spaces, and five truck parking spaces, which will be signed for no overnight parking. Underground storage space and a dumpster enclosure will also be available on location.

The BZA approved this petition.

Speedway’s second petition was to allow for a pole sign on the interstate corridor. Rude said the staff recommended approval with no conditions.

The BZA approved this petition as well.

Speedway LLC also submitted a petition for three development standard variances pertaining to ordinances that set the driveway width, canopy sign sizes and numbers and the incidental free sign height. Rude said his staff recommended approval for all three variances.

Carter said that they need to increase the width of the entrance drive to the site to meet Speedway’s standard design and make the drive safer for truck drivers.

Speedway requested the incidental free signs – i.e. the enter and exit signs – be taller than the city code allows to increase visibility for truck drivers.

“We feel the additional size is adequate for truck drivers who sit higher than they would in a car,” Carter said. “And this also keeps up with the Speedway Safety Standards they’ve set up.”

Lastly, the final variance pertains to a high-rise sign, which exceeds the maximum height allowed by the city.

Lastly, Speedway petitioned for the high rise sign – which the board already approved to be placed in the interstate corridor – to be taller than the city ordinance allows.

“The high rise sign, we’re asking for variance in the total square foot,” Carter said. “The running S, the logo, would be 142 square feet, and the pricer would be a total of 356 square feet. The total of those together would be 498 square feet.”

The ordinance only allows 200 feet for a pole.

The BZA approved each variance individually.

The Shelbyville Plan Commission will have a public hearing for the Speedway petition at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. The meeting will be streamed via the City’s Facebook page; a link is available on the homepage of the City of Shelbyville’s website.

After the Speedway petitions, the BZA moved onto old business – a public hearing pertaining to the Administrative Appeal of Burnside LLC and Summerford Land Trust.

The case pertains to a couple of ponds that the property owners had construction done on without getting permission or permits from the city. It was reported some of this construction has caused drainage issues on the properties.

“The action tonight is an administrative appeal on numerous zoning violations associated with the two properties,” Rude said.

Representing Burnside LLC and Summerford Land Trust, Taylor Summerford and his council Donald Smith, Kyle Chambers and Robert Adams attended virtually.

Because the hearing took place primarily virtually, both parties submitted evidence prior to the meeting.

“Essentially what happened for the administrative appeal case the petitioner was given a chance to present their case and the board had some question and answers, and then myself and our attorney were able to present our side of the case, questions and answers,” Rude summarized in a phone call following the meeting.

The BZA took the case under advisement and gave both parties two weeks to submit findings of fact and conclusions of law. Rude said this means both parties will present information that basically says this is how they think the board should decide.

“They should be making a decision next month,” he said.