The Press Newspaper
A plan to possibly route a bike trail along the front yards of Ohio 163 properties in Genoa is running into resistance.
Brady Huston, a resident of Ohio 163, attended a recent Genoa Village Council meeting to express concern about the proposed route, according to council minutes. She said she felt property owners were not being informed.
The bike trail under scrutiny would be the Genoa leg of the North Coast Inland Bike Trail that runs from Fremont through Lindsey and Elmore. It is under the management of the Sandusky County Park District. Elmore’s section was completed in 2008.
The new proposal brings the trail along the old railroad right-of-way from the Harris-Clay township line to Martin-Williston Road. There the village runs into trouble because the rest of the old right-of-way has been turned over to a quarry company.
Rails-to-Trails planners have instead looked at other options, including running the trail along Ohio 163 into the village, down through a vilage park and then northwest toward Millbury, Village Administrator Kevin Gladden said.
The trail would not be run along the road. It would be located away from the highway flow in the road right-of-way or nearby utility easements to lessen chances of bike and motor vehicle collisions, he explained.
Several options have been looked at but this one seems most feasible, he said.
Huston said she was troubled by the village’s lack of communication – that residents were not being kept informed of the plans. An attorney has since contacted the village on behalf of the Huston family, the administrator said.
Gladden, however, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that as soon as the committee began focusing on this plan letters were sent to residents advising them of the proposal.
Still, “Nothing is set in stone,” he assured.
But officials have a little more than a month to devise a plan to send in with a pre-funding application that must be submitted by Feb. 1, 2012.
A plan is needed but does not have to be the final one, Gladden explained.
“This process could take up to three years. There is plenty of time for change,” he said.
The committee is scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11 at the Elmore Historical Society.
Earlier reports estimated the village cost at $16,000 for its share of the trail project. However, that estimate included the possibility of Clay Township participating. The township trustees this year opted to not invest in the project.
Gladden said $16,000 is probably on the low side.
“That’s another issue. When all is said and done, the council could decide not to do the project if the cost is too much,” the administrator said.