There’s a new road in Scottsburg.
Actually, it’s an old road, which offered the fairly confusing moniker of South Lake Road North.
Now, it’s going to be labeled “Milky Way Road,” all 1½ miles of it stretching from State Road 56 West past Wal-Mart and the Scottsburg Police Department and Fire Station 1 to where the pavement curves at the entrance of Tokuson USA Inc.
The decision was made during the third reading of an ordinance on Monday evening, November 21. The approval process had been stretched through three business sessions of the Scottsburg City Council.
The basis for the change came from conversations city officials had with owners of Goat Milk Stuff, also located along the affected section. The Jonases ship and mail a lot of their merchandise. They also receive a lot of deliveries. Delivery companies like FedEx and UPS were constantly calling, trying to figure out where the business was located. Apparently, South Lake Road North was also confusing to the professionals. Go figure!
Consequently, city attorney Kerry Thompson was directed to prepare an ordinance. This document, however, designated all of the road between State Road 56 West to where it connects to Moonglo Road further north as Wilson Road. This change would uniformly clarify addresses for 9-1-1 and emergency services personnel, it was determined.
Councilman John Konkler got more involved in the issue after a resident along the section of road after that first curve by Tokuson complained about the name change. Michael Smith attended both of the first two business meetings where the original ordinance was read and passed on its first two readings. Changing Weir Road to Wilson Road would cause him problems, Smith explained, since he too had an on-line business. Making all of the address changes would be costly, he pointed out.
Now, let’s go back a little further in time, back to the 1990s when the Tokuson facility wasn’t even built yet. A Japanese firm, Kokoku, wanted to buy the property and build its factory there. To do so required a zoning change, of course, and that step was fought by many homeowners in the area, including the owners of the two homes on that section of Weir Road between the road’s two curves. Those homes would face the factory, those residents argued. Property values could be affected, they thought.
To placate them, city officials promised not to annex those residences into Scottsburg. That’s the way things have stood until the renaming of South Lake Road North was contemplated this fall.
Not only does the agreement worked out by Councilman Konkler include renaming the affected section Milky Way Road but also it includes leaving the sections of Weir Road and Wilson Roads with their present names. And the two homes on Weir Road will be annexed into the city.
Konkler presented the amendments to the ordinance on its third reading that Monday night, pretty much taking his fellow Council members and Mayor Bill Graham by surprise.
Since the compromise was not opposed by anyone at the November 21 meeting and it eliminated Smith’s objections as well as gaining Scottsburg a tiny section of property already surrounded by the city, it passed unanimously. Smith appeared relieved. He was again present to see how the compromise would be addressed.
It’s not known how quickly the City of Scottsburg will be in changing road signs. Expense is expected to be incurred by the police and fire departments as staff there make the necessary changes in addresses.