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City officials express concern over residential growth

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 8:05 am


Sometimes there is a need for reflection when a vast amount of information has to be digested.

After taking a long look at the information provided at the joint meeting – which included the Shelbyville City Council, the Shelbyville Power, Water and Sewerage (SPWS), the Planning Commission, and all city department heads – Shelbyville Mayor Randy Carroll has serious concerns about the readiness of the city for the growth ahead.

He is especially uneasy with the expected increase in residential growth. Carroll stressed he understands SPWS is ready to go, but what has him concerned is the need for more personnel, equipment, and expansion in locations for the Shelbyville Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments.

Carroll also notes there is a need for road improvements ranging from the widening of Fairfield Pike to the completion of the State Route 437 by-pass.

“Hopefully, everyone noted those needs that we shared,” Carroll said.

He would like to see some changes in the process when the city is approached by residential developers.

“My thoughts would be to raise the standards/requirements for residential growth,” Carroll said.  “I believe in quality rather than quantity.

“At this time we should limit development of single-family site built homes for all income levels. I would recommend researching impact fees in Shelbyville to cover the costs of providing services.”

Waleed Albakry, Shelbyville’s Director of Planning and Community Development, agreed with Carroll that all systems need to be in place if growth continues as it has for the past three years.

“Look at the stats and five or six years ago there wasn’t much going on compared to the last three years,” Albakry said. “This means, first of all, we need to have a system in place. I mean each department.

“You are not going to be 100 percent ready. We have improved over the past three years. Anybody can see that with all of the changes. However more is needed.”

Like all city departments the planning and community development department is understaffed. There are two on staff. Albakry needs at least two more, according to the state.

“Let me be clear, we love what is going in terms of growth,” Albakry said. “We would rather see more than less. Most of it is good. How do we make it better?

“You don’t want to be in a community that is stagnant. People are leaving. There is nothing going on. Anybody can have their own view, but personally I want to be in place that is happening.”