Harvest Church has been located at 1010 E. Centennial Ave. for 17 years.
It is across the street from the Muncie Sanitary District and next to the GreenLine Natural Gas Filling Station.
Five years ago the Muncie Sanitary District met with Harvest Church about building the GreenLine gas station. Members of the church thought about it and agreed they were okay with the natural gas filling station being built.
“But what we didn’t realize, and what we’re slowly finding out now is that was phase one of a much larger project,” said Tom Hahn, Harvest Church youth minister.
The Muncie Sanitary District now has plans to build a new building for its trash trucks.
The new building will be on Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, just north of Centennial Avenue.
“Basically it’s about half a mile behind the church,” said Bill Smith, Muncie Sanitary Board president. “U-Haul had moved and left a building empty and so we bought their property because they moved to a bigger location,” Smith said.
Currently, the Sanitary District has ten to 12 trash trucks. The trucks are currently located across the church, but the trash truck mechanics are located on Kilgore Avenue, several miles away.
The new building will allow for the trash trucks and mechanics to consolidate and work in the same place.
Members of the church say they appreciated the communication the Sanitary District gave them five years ago regarding the natural gas filling station.
“We really appreciated the communication they had with us before that gas station went in,” Han said.
However, church members say that’s not the case for the new building project.
“We don’t necessarily think this plan is a bad plan, the problem is there’s been no communication with us,” Hahn said.
Smith said the Sanitary District did not recently talk with Harvest Church regarding the new project because his staff believed it would not be a problem.
“Quite honestly we just thought we were far enough away from the church,” Smith said.
Members of the church also have concerns about what the new building project will do to their church.
“It’s going to increase the traffic, it increases the pollution and we’re concerned about the smell and we’re concerned about the runoff,” said Randy Tempest, Harvest Church elder. “It’s impactful to us as a church because we do have over 200 people that go here on a weekly basis.”
Members of Harvest Church attended the Muncie Zoning Board Meeting on Thursday Oct. 31. Members of the church used the meeting to discuss their concerns for the new project and asked for an opportunity to talk with the Sanitary District.
“We want to be a part of Muncie and we have been for a long time. We want to continue to invest into this area. We put a lot of time and resources into this area and we just want to see it continue,” Tempest said.
Board members decided at the board meeting the Muncie Sanitary District and Harvest Church will have a meeting to discuss the new building project. The meeting will take place between now and the next board meeting on Nov 21.