Following the decision to bring Wal-Mart to town, every Newburgh Planning Commission member resigned. This past Wednesday, those six positions were filled.
It’s been two weeks since the town of Newburgh was left without a planning commission. Now, Newburgh residents have had plenty of time to process the decision as to why they left.
“I see this town as something that was founded on long a time ago and I don’t see that this represents Newburgh,” said Knob Hill Tavern Owner Dan Kollker.
“In the past and probably because it was on smaller matters, I think the planning commission’s views were typically heard but when push came to shove on a big matter it was not,” said Dan Bugher.
The town council approved the decision to bring a neighborhood Wal-Mart to Newburgh. It was a decision many residents weren’t happy with. The town council approved after the planning commission voted unanimously twice against the project.
“The previous planning commission felt that their wishes were carried out and didn’t work together as well as they should so they got this knee jerk reaction,” said Ron Stevens.
Newburgh attorney Chris Wischer says David Wills, Tammy Timmel, Rick Hornbeck, Jason Brown, Tom Bodkin and Bill Bell will now serve on the planning commission. Newburgh residents hope the town council will listen to this planning commission.
“After seeing what has happened in the past, I believe that they build on that and try to reach some common ground,” said Karen Stevens.
Dan and Randee Bugher feel some information was withheld from residents as the process of Wal-Mart was discussed.
“The town was never presented with a secondary option which is multifamily housing. No details of that was ever shared and that was shared in some respects as a concern that it might be a bad project,” said Bugher.
Now, they are hoping the new members will help bring the town back together.
“It will be interesting to see if it’s a real serious matter which way goes,” said Randee Bugher.
The new planning commission members were appointed by town council president Bill Kavanaugh.