Stotzer Lane, the walk/bike path from East Lutz Road to Sauder Village, is worth an upgrade.
Built in 1988, the gravel path with a few benches and trees along its 3,900-foot length is heavily used by people to get back and forth between Archbold and Sauder Village, including visitors at the Sauder Village Campground and Heritage Inn.
The path is used by those interested in a little exercise, or those who just want to enjoy a pleasant stroll or ride in the countryside. With its location across from the Fairlawn Retirement Community, Stotzer Lane provides a wonderful opportunity for our older residents to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Now, officials of Archbold and Sauder Village are talking about some upgrades, including pavement, streetlights, and more trees. A grant application is available to secure some state funding.
Upgrades will allow more people to access the path, and make it more user-friendly. On a warm evening, walking or biking on Stotzer Lane allows people to de-stress, and just enjoy nature.
Those who use wheelchairs and powered scooters, parents pushing strollers next to children on small bicycles or tricycles, and some walkers who need a smooth path shy away from the gravel surface.
Pavement would allow snow to be plowed off the path, something that is not done now. Streetlights will open the path to more evening use.
The project is expensive. Village council has committed to spend up to $300,000 over two years, but no project is cheap.
Developing another recreational opportunity in Archbold for everyone– young and old– to use is a worthwhile investment. It makes our town more enjoyable for those who live here, and more attractive to those who may consider moving here.