Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, said the village of Archbold will not have to repay $1.3 million to the Ohio Department of Transportation if the village completes Phase I of the St. Rt. 66-Co. Rd. 24 realignment study.
Phase I looks at the engineering and environmental feasibility of rerouting the highways along Co. Rd. 24, from US20A in the north to possibly as far south as U.S. 6.
Howell said, “The Village may be liable for repayment if the village does not fulfill its LPA (Local Public Agency) contract with ODOT.
“The Village intends to fulfill that contract.
“What happens after the LPA contract for the pre-engineering and environmental feasibility studies have been completed is pure speculation, to which we will not respond.”
So, once the Phase I por- tion of the contact is complete, who will make the decision on whether or not Co. Rd. 24 is reconstructed and upgraded to become a state highway?
Vond Hall, Fulton County administrator, said a joint board of the Fulton and Henry county commissioners was formed to consider the project.
Hall said the joint board contracted with the village of Archbold “to undertake certain portions of the project in March 2015. That is why they, the village, is dealing directly with ODOT.”
He said the Joint Cooperation Agreement between the joint board of commissioners and Archbold states in Section 5, “The issue of which governmental entity will be responsible for the completing those phases of the project beyond the development and completion of plans will be determined after the plans have been developed and completed.
“All parties agree and understand that none of the parties hereto, either individually or jointly, shall be viewed, by the execution of this agreement, as having committed to being the lead governmental agency.”
In other words, the decision of who will give the fi- nal go-ahead has not been decided.
Jeff Fryman, mayor, told about 40 people who attended the Monday, May 2 Archbold Village Council meeting that it would be the joint board of commissioners of Fulton and Henry counties making the decision.
“The two-county board does all the voting on this,” Fryman said.
Peggy Oyer, a Co. Rd. 24 resident, provided a copy of an email from Jennifer G. Acuna, a transportation engineer with ODOT, to this newspaper, yesterday, Tuesday.
In the email, Acuna told Oyer, “Based on the signed contract by Henry and Fulton Counties, they have given the Village Council the voting power to decide whether or not to proceed with the project.”
Tuesday morning, Hall said, “That is not my understanding,” and referred again to Section 5 of the contract.