Payment for new light up in air

A new traffic light is planned at a Greenwood intersection expected to get busier as new developments are built, but the question is who should pay for it.

The city has required a developer to pay for the new traffic signal before beginning construction of two shell buildings on 30 acres of land at the southwest corner of Graham Road and Keaton Way, east of Interstate 65.

But the developer, the Peterson Co., said it shouldn’t be responsible for the new light, and has asked the city redevelopment commission to pay for the new signal.

Other companies that will be using the intersection won’t have to pay for installing the light, and the company would be at a competitive disadvantage, Peterson Co. Chief Operating Officer Larry Siegler said. The market is extremely competitive and a difference of 10 cents per square foot can be the deciding factor in a contract, he said.

Having the company pay for about 15 percent of the work would be appropriate, since that is what their share likely would have been if the cost was divided evenly among area businesses, Siegler said.

The Peterson Co. is required to pay for the installation of the light because the company is planning to build on the final lot yet to be developed near that intersection, Deputy Mayor Terry McLaughlin said. The Peterson Co. plans to construct two shell buildings totaling 143,000 square feet and 260,000 square feet.

A traffic study said the traffic light is necessary at that intersection due to the amount of businesses moving in nearby, McLaughlin said.

The city will look into changing the way similar situations are handled in the future, to ensure that the cost of putting in infrastructure is spread out among businesses, McLaughlin said.

No decision has been made yet on who will pay for the new light.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.