McDonald's plans to start construction soon by David Lias People who may be wondering whether a McDonald's restaurant truly is going to be located in Vermillion can now rest assured.
Plans for the construction of the new business, announced this spring, were affirmed at Monday's City Council meeting.
The McDonald's Corporation needs more room for parking at the proposed site of the restaurant.
"We received a petition initiated by McDonald's so that they could have adequate parking on the site that they are buying," City Engineer Bill Welk said. "It doesn't have a lot of depth from Dakota Street to the west, and by vacating the alley, it gives them an extra 10 feet that they can utilize for their parking."
The Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce announced last April that McDonald's will be locating a restaurant here.
The fast food corporation, according to the chamber, was in the process of wrapping up its purchase of the Coyote Motel, located near the corner of of Cherry and Dakota streets.
The chamber also announced last April that demolition of the motel likely will begin in June, and that McDonald's planned to construct a new restaurant at the site, and open its doors this fall.
So far, no work has been done at the building site, leading to some speculation in the community that McDonald's may have lost interest in doing business in Vermillion.
Monday's action by the city council, however, confirmed that such talk is nothing more than rumor.
"The planning commission did look over this, and has recommended vacating the alley, reserving an easement because there are underground and overhead utilities in that area," Welk said. "The parking lot won't significantly impact any utilities. They are on the west half of the alley, and McDonald's will be using the east half of the alley."
"We are just hopeful that we can get the east of the alley so that we can provide enough parking and support for the restaurant," said Dick Engstrom, real estate manager in charge of new sites for McDonald's Corporation. "We're looking forward to constructing it as soon as we possibly can, to meet the needs of the community, and with school time getting into session soon here."
The plans for new structure include a new city sidewalk that will give the restaurant additional snow storage capabilities along Dakota Street when it becomes necessary to clear the parking lot after a winter storm, he said.
The new restaurant will be built very quickly once its site is prepared.
"It will take between 60 to 90 days from the start of construction to the opening," Engstrom said.