Temple’s Vision 2020: Why do we need another road; we already have Prairie Lane?
Prior to 1999, Prairie Lane ended where the Temple’s parking lot entry is today. The residents enjoyed a quiet street and a park like setting with trails at the street’s end. They had opposed successfully any attempt to develop the land for residential use. The previous owners harvested mature timber and waited to dispose of the land. The Temple’s offer to acquire 25 acres of this agricultural land was contingent on getting a special use permit to build a religious facility. While the County’s planning and zoning saw the fit and recommended approval, the residents opposed the idea. With significant convincing from our side, the special use permit was approved by the County Board. The special use permit was good only for two years; we completed the Temple’s construction by year end 1999. Many in the area say that this land had been saved for a God’s Home.
Our Temple, like any religious organization, is exempt from paying local, state and federal taxes. Adding to that, hardly any of the devotees live in Limestone Township where the Temple is located and hence the Township sees no direct tax benefits. However, we traverse Township roads (Hill Top and Prairie lane) to get to the Temple. The Township road district is not happy to see the increased wear and tear due to the Temple traffic. Any upgrade to Hill Top and Prairie Lane even at Temple’s expense is not practical as some residents would lose their garages or yards. The residents and the Township would be happy to see Prairie Lane return to pre-Temple days. They are concerned and we are too that children freely roam on narrow Prairie Lane along with Temple traffic which can be heavy at times. Looking into the future, it would be in the best interest of the Temple and the neighbors to find an alternate access to the Temple. Once this happens, Prairie Lane will be gated at the parking lot entry and Prairie Lane will be used only for emergencies.
The special use permit that was granted to build the Temple has been good for just that. Any structural modifications/additions would require obtaining permits through the County Board and would be vehemently opposed without developing an access road alternate to Prairie Lane.
The Temple land terrain (dropping 200 feet over 300 feet distance) does not permit a practical access off Kickapoo Creek Road that meets 9% maximum gradient requirement. However, the adjacent land can have such an access road and the owners consent to share. With the adjacent land being developed into elderly condo units, the condo owners would participate in the cost of infrastructure development ($1M out of $1.7M). The access road construction would bring in sewer and water from Creek Road basin for robust sanitary and fire protection. The excavated earth will provide embankment for the three lakes. Both engineering and economic feasibilities are served well with the neighboring land and condo owners participating. With the condo owners paying prevailing property taxes, municipalities are likely to maintain the shared road into the future.
Habitation of adjacent land would bring security to the Temple and its land. The scenic hill side approach to the Temple will make the hilly location very apparent. The timber land with storm water retention/detention lakes will make this setting very unique indeed.
We commit to continuing communications on the various aspects of Temple’s Vision 2020 as we progress.
Temple Board of Volunteers
Temple’s Vision 2020: Need for a robust sanitary system
This Sharat Poornima evening (October 3) at 3:45 PM, I got a call from the Temple that the sewer lift station pump had failed and the sewer was backing up in the basement floor drains. With several volunteering families cooking snacks for the evening’s Garbha and over 200 people expected to attend, this was indeed a crisis. The sewer pump had failed on two other occasions in the past setting up emergency situations (the last time it was last October). Third time around, you think this should be routine.
By 5:30 PM, the 1000 gallon sewer pit was pumped out by a quickly responding Sewer Company. The weekend programs went without a hitch. The pit was full again Sunday PM. It was pumped out Monday AM the first thing. The same kind plumber that helped the last two times was lined up to replace the failed pump with a rebuilt pump stored at the Temple. The failed pump is being returned to the manufacturer for replacement under warranty.
At the time the Temple was built, we had a choice to go with a septic system or a sewer lift station; we chose the latter as the more hygienic option. The sewer ejector pump lifts the sewer 30 feet uphill over 700 feet length to a manhole on Prairie Lane.
Temple’s Vision 2020 calls for a robust sanitary process with the sewer connecting downhill 200 feet below to a pick up point by the Kickapoo Creek Road (we have to bore under Creek Road and the Rail Road), 3000 feet away from the current location. The cost is estimated to be around $300,000. We obviously cannot justify spending $300K on the sewer alone. In the Vision 2020 plan, we would construct an access road 2600 feet long that runs in the adjacent land connecting Creek Road to the Temple parking lot with the sewer and water lines trenched adjacent to the road. The total cost is estimated at $1.7 Million. With the elderly condo owners from the adjacent 25 acre land pitching in $1 Million, infrastructure cost to the Temple is expected to be $700K.
The Temple’s 25 acre timber land zoned agricultural was purchased 12 years ago for $65,000 at a unit cost of $2600 per acre - the price of agricultural land with no amenities. The Vision 2020 infrastructure investment can make this picturesque land nestled in Kickapoo bluff very unique.
We commit to sharing with you Temple’s Vision 2020 in further depth as we progress.
Temple Board of Volunteers