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Shipshewana looks ahead at MEC traffic control

With a major event planned at the Michiana Event Center (MEC) in mid-March that could draw up to 6,000 people, the Town of Shipshewana is working to get ahead of its main concern – traffic.

At the December 28 town council meeting, Town Manager Bob Shanahan told the council that he has been working with the police department and MEC to work out a plan to get traffic into and out of the facility. The current plan is to make Farver St. (CR 200N) one way for the two hours leading up to the event. Traffic that is northbound on SR 5 would turn onto Farver St. and use both lanes of the road to get to the MEC.

Meanwhile, southbound traffic on SR 5 would be “captured” at the entrance to the flea market north of Farver St. and would park at the flea market. Buses would shuttle visitors to the south side of the flea market on Farver St., where they would then walk across to the event.

Traffic coming in from the east on CR 200N/Farver St. would also be directed to park at the flea market.

At the end of the event, all traffic would be directed east to CR 675W, where it would go one of three ways – south to US 20, east to SR 9, or north to SR 120. Drivers would be able to reenter Shipshewana by going north and then back west on CR 250N, Shanahan pointed out.

“We are only presenting this tonight,” Shanahan continued. “We have to talk to the property owners along there first and give them the opportunity to voice their opinions at the board meeting.”

Jeff Fought from MEC told the council that MEC would not collect a parking fee to help with traffic flow into the MEC parking lot.

The event will utilize officers from other agencies besides Shipshewana’s police department. It was noted that the officer on duty for the town would not be part of traffic control, as they would remain on patrol through town.

In other business:

The council set a meeting date of January 30 at 3 p.m. for the Hudson Museum Board.

The board approved ratifying an amended quote with Blue Star for IT work, as well as approving a quote from TeleData for a fiber cable from Farver School to the water plant.

The council also approved the Community Crossing Grant Contract, an appropriation transfer ordinance, and a vacation carry-over request for the marshal and clerk-treasurer.