Saying the Archbold traffic situation always circles back to Co. Rd. 24, Kevin Eicher and Kevin Morton, Archbold village council- men, called again for discus- sions on upgrading the county road.
Bill Rufenacht and Jeff Rupp, Fulton County commissioners, attended the Monday, May 6 council meeting– something the commissioners do yearly.
Eicher said Archbold traffic issues were discussed at the April 16 meeting of the Archbold Traffic Flow Improvement Committee, “and we keep coming back in a circle to Co. Rd. 24.”
Trucks are going into and out of the Gerald Grain elevator, semis use Co. Rd. 24 to get around Archbold, and ConAgra is considering moving its truck entrance to the county road.
“For the west side of our community, at some point in time we’re going to have to address the issue and see what we can work on improving Co. Rd. 24,” Eicher said.
“I would love to see 24 done like Co. Rd. C from Archbold to (Co. Rd.) 19. It’s a widened road; it can handle the flow of traffic; it can handle the farm traffic. The semis can get on and use it.
“We’re on 2019 traffic with roads that have not been improved since 1980.
“Traffic is going there (Co. Rd. 24). One of these days, there’s going to be a hell of an accident.
“This is not the first time it’s been brought up, but every year, we’ve chased a dog. Now we’ve got to talk about it and make it work.
“What would happen if ConAgra moved their truck route (entrance) to Co. Rd. 24, across from the elevator?
“That’s what we have to think about now.
“That might be reality in a couple of years.
“If that happens, where are they going to go? Where are the people going to go who use 24?”
“I think we always come back to Co. Rd. 24, because of what it connects,” Morton said.
“There are ramifications of allowing and encouraging more traffic” on the county road.
Eicher and Morton both said there needs to be more discussions between the village, German Township, and the county commissioners.
Kenneth “Skip” Leupp, German Township trustee, said the discussions should also include Henry County.
Morton said the Henry County stretch of Co. Rd. 24 is more like Fulton Co. Rd. C.
Morton said when discussions to improve Co. Rd. 24 took place two years ago, there was some talk of German Township “swapping miles,” or trading responsibility for certain sections of rural roads, so the commissioners could treat Co. Rd. 24 like Co. Rd. C.
A suggestion was made for a roundabout at Co. Rd. 24 and Lafayette Street to increase safety for traffic coming to and from the Archbold schools.
“I think that’s the kind of conversations we have to have, because the idea is not to put a band-aid on this,” Morton said.
“Let’s make some longterm decisions, because everything comes back, as you (Eicher) said, full circle to Co. Rd. 24. We just have limited options.”
“So now it comes down to reality,” Eicher said, “where we as a village and township and county need to sit down and say, ‘Okay, now what is there for the future, for the next generation so we’re not beating our heads against the wall.”