The Press Newspaper
With no defined route in place, the Rails-to-Trails Committee has nixed plans to submit a funding application this year for the Genoa leg of the trail.
The committee has until Feb. 1 to turn in a pre-funding application to the state for the North Coast Inland Trail project that would link Genoa to Elmore. A more defined version is due in March.
Members met Wednesday night at the Elmore Historical Society to review options in the weeks counting down to the deadline.
“I don’t see how we can get this done on time,” John Lewis, a member of Genoa Village Council, said about 30 minutes into the discussion.
“I would hate to turn this in as it is and be turned down,” Genoa Village Administrator Kevin Gladden said.
The group scrapped the idea of turning an application in this year and set a March 7 meeting date at the Genoa Town Hall to continue forming a plan for a 2013 submission.
One sticking point Wednesday focused on a proposal to place a portion of the route from Martin-Williston Road along Ohio 163 to the Genoa corporation limits. The move would stretch the bike trail across the front yards of 12 properties on Ohio 163, most of them residential.
At least one family has voiced opposition to the idea and has hired an attorney.
“We could do a shared pavement but on that road at 55 (mph) that’s not a good idea,” said Rich Hertzfeld, an engineer from the Poggemeyer Design Group in Bowling Green. A shared pavement format would have no grassy barrier between the trail and the road. Only a line would separate the two – similar to the setup for the bike trail on Catawba Island, Hertzfeld said.
Committee members assessed the possibility of building the bike trail in right-of-ways. That idea ran into a number of problems:
•The village utility right-of-way isn’t large enough.
_Putting the route in the state right-of-way might require reconstruction of the swale needed for water run-off.
• Placing the trail in the Toledo Edison right-of-way north of the pole line would require the utility, if corporate heads agreed, to renegotiate all of its easements with property owners.
Gladden noted he had not talked to all the property owners personally but knew there could be a tidy sum wrapped up in securing those easements. The village does not have the money to back that and he was not sure Toledo Edison would take on the burden either, he said.
“Do you see any of this remedied within a year’s time?” asked Elmore Village Mayor Lowell Krumnow. Committee members said they didn’t.
On Gladden’s suggestion, the group focused on a previously proposed idea of extending the bike trail from Martin-Williston Road to Ohio 51 where the route would possibly stretch behind a mobile home park and along some farmland.
That route would leave the group dealing with two property owners rather 12, said Ottawa County Commissioner Steve Arndt.
Gladden agreed to investigate that option by contacting those property owners in upcoming weeks and reporting back to the others at the March 7 meeting.
No results found.