|Rossford roundabout at deadend|
|Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 10 April 2012 10:20|
ROSSFORD - The majority of Rossford City Council ran out of patience with protracted talks involving the construction of a roundabout at Lime City and Buck roads near the new Penta campus.
The $5 million project, which has been in the works since the school opened in 2008, would require the city to contribute as much as $550,000.
The bulk of the money would come from a $3 million federal grant with contributions of $500,000 from the county and the Rossford Traffic Improvement district, $350,000 from Perrysburg Township and $150,000 in the form of land for the project from Penta.
Penta, said councilman Greg Marquette, was not paying enough given the need for the new intersection was bought on by the construction of the new campus. While the intersection is in the city, the campus is in the township.
The ordinance to approve spending the money, which has been tabled for weeks, was defeated 4-3, despite the urging of Mayor Neil MacKinnon III to give Robert Ruse and Caroline Eckel, the two members of council working with the other parties, more time to see if accommodation could be reached.
While MacKinnon said he didn't think the money would be well spent when so many roads and sidewalks in the city need work, he felt council should show willingness to cooperate with its neighbors.
However, Marquette who brought the ordinance off the table and councilmen Larry Oberdorf, Jerry Staczek and Chuck Duricek were undeterred and voted the ordinance down. Eckel, Ruse and Mike Scott voted in favor of the ordinance.
Penta's original traffic study proposed a much more modest improvement, but in order to secure federal funds for the project, the parties had to agree to a roundabout that would have both reduced congestion and kept traffic moving so as to abate air pollution from idling cars.
Opponents questioned whether such a major project for what they saw as a problem that occurred for only a short time in the morning and afternoon on school days when students were arriving and leaving school.
A state traffic study, though, found that the intersection "fails" and is one of the worst in the area.
Ruse said a new traffic flow study was being done based on actual traffic counts not estimates.
If the traffic counts decreased, Eckel said, that could mean a more modest project could be undertaken.
"Changing the scale of the project would change the cost and should help everyone's bottom line," Eckel said.
Ruse also noted that the intersection gets heavy traffic from the Cedar Creek Church to the south and All Saints Church to the north.
The new intersection would benefit current businesses in the area and could facilitate development of property just northeast of the intersection.
Duricek questioned whether any development would happen in Rossford.
He said the city "should drop this back in Penta's lap" because that's where the increased traffic came from.
Staczek said the project should be treated like any other. "I fail to see why it should go to the head of the line."
He and other opponents cited the overwhelming opposition to the project by residents, both speaking at council meetings and to individual members of council.
Staczek said given that sentiment he would vote against it even if he favored the project.
Ruse said he was aware of the opposition but that his responsibility was to do what he felt was in the best interest of the city, regardless of public opinion.
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