Fellow Street Project on hold, for now - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Fellow Street Project on hold, for now

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Members of the South Bend City Council are coming out against the Fellows Street Corridor Project.  The state's goal is to make Fellows St., south of Ireland, accessible to the new 31-highway. 

As currently planned, 31 homes would be destroyed to widen lanes and create a bike path, as well as put in a new intersection at Chippewa.

Thursday morning the city council sent a letter to the Board of Public Works, the Redevelopment Commission, the Mayor, the City Engineer, and the Economic Development staff person.  In it the council urges them to create alternate routes and options that are "respectful to the residents currently living in the Fellows Street area" and that the residents along Fellows St. "would not have their homes taken."

Henry David Jr., who helped draft the letter wants the Board of Public Works to take a closer look at the project and develop an alternate route that won't negatively impact as many people.

"We want to make sure that everyone is involved in this decision making process. It's about saving the houses obviously because you don't want to destroy the character of a neighborhood especially a very nice neighborhood. But we also want to make sure the tax dollars aren't going on a one way trip and they are actually growing in the city." Davis Jr. said.

City Engineer Mike Mecham says as of right now, the Fellows Street project is on until they have a chance to look at alternatives. He says there is a possibility they can save some houses.

"I think it's important to look at it once more to see if we can preserve a few things there. There's a lot of challenges there that have to be overcome and whether or not we can overcome those challenges is what will happen as far as how many houses we have left." Mecham said.

The letter argues that the loss of the homes would be a significant loss to the tax base and have a negative impact on home values in the area.

The letter is signed by six members of the South Bend City Council, including Council President Derek Dieter.

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