Did it really take 22 months for the village of Archbold to get an answer to the question of whether or not it would be required to repay $1.3 million to the Ohio Department of Transportation?
In short, the question is over the requirements of an ODOT-administered federal grant to the village to do a feasibility study on moving St. Rt. 66 to Co. Rd. 24.
Village officials said for months they were concerned they would have to repay the grant if they didn’t complete an environmental impact study. They were willing to pursue further grant funding to avoid having to repay the $1.3 million.
Did village officials specifically ask about the repayment requirement prior to 2017? Did they specifically ask for an answer in writing?
Peggy Oyer, rural Defiance and formerly a Co. Rd. 24 resident, who was more or less the point person for the groups opposing the project, had an answer on April 25, 2016: Archbold would not have to repay.
There was room to question that, but Oyer had that answer 22 months ago. Almost two years!
Archbold officials say they didn’t have the answer, in writing, until Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Even if the 2016 email isn’t the definitive answer, it took 22 months for village officials to get an answer to the question?
There is a popular expression, “throw someone under the bus.” The Merriam Webster online dictionary said the phrase means “to betray or sacrifice a person, particularly for the sake of one’s own advancement, or as a means of safeguarding one’s own interest.”
This newspaper has no desire to throw anyone under any bus. The Archbold Buckeye has no axe to grind. Nor does this newspaper believe there were or are secret motives or plans on the part of anyone. Village officials were doing what they thought was best for Archbold. There is no shame in that.
But still, this newspaper must call out the absurdity of the whole situation. Someone dropped the ball.
Our government officials must do better.