2007-01-13 / Editorials & Letters

No one to profit from roadway extension

Editor:

I want to comment on the story in last week's Beacon about the possible extension of Elmwood Drive. Baltimore Village Administrator Marsha Hall and Council Member Jim Hochradel appear morbidly obsessed with the notion that if an emergency extension of Elmwood Drive ever became a reality, adjoining property owners would become suddenly rich. I have been a resident of this area for 55 years and know the plans of the relevant parties quite well.

I own property along Elmwood (one side of the street only) and don't have the slightest intent of ever developing my land to any degree whatever. The Gorsuch outfit (one of the biggest developers in Fairfield County who owns adjoining land) has advised me on three separate officevisits that they have their own plans for eventually developing their 16 acres, none of which involves he use of Elmwood. When advised of the possible emergency benefit of the project, they agreed and readily signed the proposal.

Although, I don't profess to speak for the Bob Williams family, on two separate and extended conversations, Mr. Williams told me that although he would like to see a roadway pass thru the southern extremity of his property and would donate the right-ofway, he had no plans whatever in the foreseeable future to develop the area.

Finally, property owner Roger Woods has advised me repeatedly that he can develop his land whether the proposed Elmwood extension is done or not. He does support the proposal for emergency and other reasons.

These are the positions of the four relevant property owners involved and should help allay the consuming fears of Hall and Hochradel that greedy owners stand to make some sort of windfall profit from the proposal. As sated repeatedly, the sole purpose of the proposal is to benefit all village residents and better connect the thriving area of Holder Road to the rest of the community.

Holder Road is part of the Village of Baltimore. It is a relatively new addition and is the most elaborate part of town with impressive new homes. If an emergency on Ohio 256 blocks its entrance, it probably becomes the most inaccessible roadway in the village. With this in mind, a group of village residents have proposed the construction of a short roadway (.4 mile) that would connect Holder to the rest of the village in the event of a potential road blockage.

To better explain the situation, we have developed a hypothetical situation. Suppose that the mouth of Holder on Ohio 256 were blocked by some sort of wreckage and that a fire, police or medical emergency occurred at a Holder Road address (Holder Road is 1.7 mile long). Let us further pick a randomly selected address of 122 Holder Road.

If a Baltimore emergency vehicle were to attempt to reach this address and the entrance on Ohio 256 was blocked as described, the vehicle would have to use one of possibly two routes:

1. From its station in Baltimore, east on Ohio 256 to Ohio 37, then south on Ohio 37 to Holder Road, and finally northwest on Holder Road to 122. This distance is 4.8 miles.

2. From its station in Baltimore east on Ohio 256 to south on Ohio 158 to Leonard Road, east on Leonard Road to Ohio 37 then north on Ohio 37 to Holder and again northwest on Holder to 122. This is a distance of 5.4 miles.

3. If a fire or medical unit were to come from Thurston, the distance would 4.2 miles. If a Pleasantville unit were dispatched, it would be 5.3 miles.

If the proposed East Elmwood extension was available, the total distance would .4 mile. These facts seem to make sense to everybody except Hall and Hochradel who seem obsessed with the wild and unfounded fear that greedy property owners are somehow going to make some windfall profit.I personally don't know of a single adjoining property owner who would make a single dime were the extension become reality.

On January 8, 2007, I visited the office of Fairfield County Engineer Frank W. Anderson, who said, "It is a good idea and should be pursued on an emergency basis." He also gave me permission to quote his remarks.

Dave Mooney Baltimore

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