Randy Ruffer, president of the German Township Trustees, said many people assumed the trustees were in favor of upgrading County Road 24 to become St. Rt. 66.
In fact, the trustees have never said they are for the project, he said.
“The township trustees have not made a stance. We’ve stayed neutral,” Ruffer said.
“We represent the public. We want to hear what the people in the community want.
“There are people opposed to it, like merchants who don’t want traffic to leave town. We haven’t heard a lot for it. It’s probably a good idea.
“We’re not going to get in the way of progress, but we’re not for it.
“There’s no campaign to stop it, and there’s no campaign to make it happen.”
The trustees may have some time before they make a final decision.
Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, told Archbold Village Council during its Monday, Aug. 5 meeting that it could be two to three years before any actual construction starts on Co. Rd. 24.
“It will wait until the next time the Turnpike Commission sells bonds,” Wyse said.
Wyse said the village officials were notified Friday, July 26, that the Ohio Department of Transportation TRAC, or Transportation Advisory Review Commission, had selected the Co. Rd. 24 upgrade project for $1.3 million in Tier II funding.
Tier II money will pay for the development of the project, including engineering work and the completion of an environmental impact statement.
Once the engineering is complete, the project will go before TRAC again for allocation of actual construction money.
The estimated price tag for the complete project is about $17.5 million.
Wyse said a meeting was held Thursday, July 18. Attending were Randy Gardner, state senator (R-Bowling Green), who represents Archbold; Cliff Hite, state senator (R-Findlay); Barbara Sears, state representative (R-Monclova Township), who represents Archbold in the Ohio House of Representatives; and Lynn Wachtmann, state representative (R-Napoleon).
Wyse said on hand representing the business community were Ed Nofziger of Haas Door, Kevin Sauder of Sauder Woodworking, and Lyle Fogarty, Haulotte Group (formerly Bil-Jax).
Wyse said the group was briefed on the Rd. 24 project.
After the meeting broke up, Wyse said the politicians began making phone calls. One of them, Wyse said, told him “to just wait a week.”
The project, “had already moved forward. Money had been awarded. They didn’t know, and we didn’t know,” Wyse said.–David Pugh