By Linda Dillman
Blacklick Estates residents hoping to slow down speeding motorists received a legal, but unwanted, answer as Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s office gave the final word on the township’s potential liability regarding installing speed bumps on township roads.
“I’ve been working on getting calming devices or speed bumps for at least two years,” Madison Township Trustee Gary McDonald said at the Oct. 21 township trustee meeting. “The bottom line is installation of speed bumps is a no go.”
A speed bump is typically three to 36 inches wide and three to six inches tall. A speed hump tends to be 12 feet wide and four inches high.
Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor A. Paul Thies, in a Sept. 17 letter, wrote the township may face unwanted legal challenges and claims based upon the lack of authorizing laws and standards or accepted practices. Thies cited Americans with Disabilities Act implications as well as specific case law and the Ohio Revised Code.
“…attempts could be made to impose liability on the township involving severe injury to users of the roadway should the speed bumps be determined to be an obstruction to the roadway,” wrote Thies.
McDonald said the trustees will continue to study ways to slow down traffic.
Water rate recovery fee
A rate recovery charge requested by Aqua Ohio was approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in October. The fee impacts Blacklick Estates citizens.
The company was granted a three percent System Improvement Charge, which will appear as an additional monthly $1.48 fee per 4,000 gallons on utility statements. The surcharge will continue to appear on future bills and may be adjusted or eliminated based on PUCO findings.
“The board is disappointed they (Aqua Ohio) continue to look for new ways to charge customers,” said McDonald. “They (Aqua Ohio) just got a 9.75 percent increase for reverse osmosis. Enough is enough. The board will continue to address any future rate increases.”
Contact Aqua Ohio at (877) 987-2782.
Firefighters for Kids
Firefighters for Kids local representative and retired Madison Township firefighter John Jones presented the trustees with an appeal for support of the program, which served 19,688 children throughout the area in 2014.
“It was a record, but it is sad there is that type of need,” Jones said.
On Nov. 14, a motorcycle parade will conduct a toy drive at 1 p.m., traveling from the intersection of Groves and Hamilton roads to the Columbus fire station at 3030 Winchester Pike collecting new, unwrapped toys along the route. New and unwrapped toys are also accepted at any firehouse throughout Franklin County from Nov. 27 to Dec. 25.
For local families in need, sign-ups will be held at Madison Township Fire Station 181 at 4567 Firehouse Lane on Dec. 3-5, 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. Photo identification or custody papers are required (Social Security cards are not accepted as identification), along with proof of need such as SNAP, HEAP, WIC, etc.
“Those requesting toys will be given a pick-up date, time and location,” said Jones. “It’s kind of like organized chaos when people come to pick up toys.”