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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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 Is it time for a 40-year-old road maintenance agreement between the Village of Walbridge and Lake Township to be amended?  

The issue arose as to whether the township or village is responsible for maintaining the stretch of Drouillard Road south of the village after a motorist recently mentioned to a township trustee that the lane stripes on the road were difficult to see at night during a rain storm.

 A township trustee relayed the motorist’s concerns to the village and James Bishop, village administrator, responded with a letter stating the maintenance agreement isn’t necessarily still binding on the village.

 “I recommend that the Township Trustees carefully revisit the referenced agreement dated August 22, 1977,” Bishop’s letter says. “You will find that in the nearly 40 years, there have been significant demographic population, commercial use and jurisdictional (City of Toledo) shifts affecting Drouillard Road. The original signatories were not empowered to bind jurisdictions in perpetuity.  The rule against perpetuities precluded open-ended terms of any agreement or contract beyond a limited scope and term.”

 Under the agreement, the village agreed to repair and maintain the stretch of Drouillard and the township agreed to not oppose the village’s annexation of township property that included land where the Stanley rail yard is located.

According to testimony at the annexation hearing, the township would be losing about $1,900 annually in property taxes and the village was also bolstering its income tax base with a net gain of about 200 railroad employees.

 “That the Village does hereby agree to maintain, repair, and, improve Drouillard Road between the Southern boundary of the incorporated limits of the Village of Walbridge and the South Section line of Section 16 of Lake Township. That the Village will at its own expense make the necessary repairs and maintenance to preserve the condition of the highway, and will service said highway in regard to snow removal etc.,” the agreement says.

The county engineer’s office would have the final say as to what repairs are needed.

 Bishop’s letter has been referred to the township solicitor for review, Mark Hummer, township administrator, said.

 “My understanding is the rule can’t be altered without a mutual agreement by the affected parties,” he said.

 Although Luckey Road on the west side of the rail yard wasn’t included in the agreement, Bishop’s letter and a 1993 letter to the trustees from the village claim the village has been maintaining it even though village officials contend it’s the responsibility of the township.  

 

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