JT turns down intersection offer from city

Jackson Township Trustees are saying thanks, but no thanks to a Grove City proposal combining the township’s efforts to improve the safety of the White and McDowell road intersection with a city street-widening project.

In December 2007, the township was notified it was awarded $291,920 in local transportation grant funding by the Ohio Public Works Commission for the $461,920 road project.

Twenty five municipalities submitted grant applications, but only five, including Jackson Township, made the final cut. Administrator Mike Lilly said the township’s portion of the project is $100,000, but state money would not be released until summer of this year.

Planned improvements include construction of turn lanes and installation of a traffic signal and scheduled to begin in March 2009.

Lilly reported the city previously studied widening White Road and last week presented Jackson Township with a document outlining the proposed joint endeavor.

"They took a grant for a simple signal fix and turned it into a major road-widening project," commented the administrator.

Trustees Stephen Bowshier and Bill Lotz disagreed with aspects of the city’s proposal and said the township should proceed as intended.

"My feeling is to go ahead and do what we planned or let the city annex it," stated Bowshier. "We’ve already lost time and if the city wants to take control of the project, let them annex it."

Lotz echoed the same sentiments and added forcefully, "Tell the city to annex the whole thing and take it all or we’re going to do our end of it. Now that we have the grant, I think we should go ahead with it. It might take years to widen the road."

In other discussion, a March 8 Ohio legislative change provides township trustees with new authority to prevent junk vehicles from littering township roadways, streets, and properties. Costs for towing and impounding junk cars can now be placed as a tax assessment on a property-similar to recouping costs for noxious weeds and tall grass cutting procedures.

Lilly told the trustees he is recommending the township exercise its new authority and place a tow service/impound lot under contract. Vehicles on public property may be immediately removed, but owners of those located on private property must be served with a written, certified notice and given at least 14 days to comply with the request. If the vehicle is not removed after two weeks, the township has the authority to have it taken away.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, a junk motor vehicle must meet the following criteria: three years old or older; apparently inoperable; and extensively damaged, including items such as missing wheels, tires, an engine, or transmission.

"I’ll bring some cars to your attention and we’ll see what we can do," said Lilly.

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