Archbold Village Council has called a work session to discuss German Township transportation issues for the future.
The meeting is Monday, Feb. 5, 6 pm, in the Archbold Council Chambers. It is prior to the regular council meeting.
Jeff Fryman, mayor, said the Fulton County Commissioners and the German Township Trustees have been invited to the meeting.
Toni Shindler, marketing and communications director for Fulton County, said the commissioners have not decided who will attend the meeting, or if all three will go.
The Buckeye attempted to contact Kenneth “Skip” Leupp, president of the trustees, but did not receive a return call.
Fryman declined to be more specific as to what will be discussed.
In an email message last week, Donna Dettling, village administrator, said the work session “is to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to revisit transportation improvement needs in Fulton County prior to council making a decision on the St. Rt. 66 relocation project.”
After several months and almost $1.5 million spent on a feasibility study, council tabled further action on a plan to relocate St. Rt. 66 along the current Co. Rd. 24 alignment from US20A to US 6 in Henry County.
Council has not selected the “no-build” option for the relocation, which would effectively kill the project.
Estimated price tag for the project is about $39 million.
Vocal opposition to the project developed soon after the relocation project was proposed.
Fix The Problem
When asked about the St. Rt. 66 project, Fryman said, “I think that the other entities that put us on the hook for this, need to come to the table and tell us how they’re going to fix the problem, because no other option on the table right now fixes it, other than what the state (the Ohio Department of Transportation) has given us.”
The feasibility study was initially approved by the joint board of the Fulton and Henry County commissioners.
In May 2017, each board of county commissioners said they would support the no- build option for the St. Rt. 66 project.
The contract for the feasibility study places the decision whether or not to go forward with the project in the hands of Archbold Village Council.
“If the two-county commissioner board wants to hang this noose around our neck, this is still a one-county commissioner board problem, so we’re going to have them help find a solution,” Fryman said.
The problem, as defined by several Archbold officials, is finding a way to smoothly, quickly, and efficiently move traffic in and out of the west side of Archbold, particularly the Archbold Industrial Park.
Fryman said he wants the review to cover the entire scope of traffic issues in the area.
He said he didn’t know if traffic issues have been reviewed since Co. Rd. 22 was rebuilt many years ago.
When Co. Rd. 22 was rebuilt, the pavement was designed to accept heavy truck traffic, thus making the road a truck bypass around the east side of Archbold.
Not A Forum
Fryman said the work session meeting on Monday will not be an open forum on the bypass project.
“I don’t know how it’s going to get printed, but it’s not an open forum for people to come and bust chops,” Fryman said.
“It’s for local government bodies to come in and discuss plans for the future.”