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Liberty Township residents lose street name

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP- Some Liberty Township residents may be getting new addresses without ever loading a moving truck.

Some residents of Kicsi Lane, a private street off of Saylor Road, were unhappy to learn they were to become Saylor Road residents after the Kicsi Lane sign was removed.

Immigrants privately created and named Kicsi Lane nearly 50 years ago and the road was never made public. County officials say it’s officially part of Saylor Road and should be properly indicated, but the residents say the change is causing confusion. Residents can petition for the road to become a public road called Kicsi Lane, but they may have to pay for the road to be brought up to public street specifications. The town- ship would maintain it from that point forward.

Liberty Township Trustee Tim Linkhorn said the brouhaha began when the Fairfield County Engineers office sent the trustees a letter asking the township to remove the Kicsi Lane sign.

That’s what started it,” he said, adding that the word “Kicsi” has sentimental value to some of the lane’s residents, who don’t want the name to change.

Linkhorn said the township would pay for a sign that identifies the lane as Saylor Road with a list of its specific addresses and show that it was formerly called Kicsi Lane. He said the residents are free to leave it there until they decide what to do next. “It’s no problem for the township to take care of it” when and if it’s public, he said.

Fairfield County Commissioner Mike Kiger said it might not cost all that much if the residents decide to make the road public. State law demands that private roads be brought up to public specifications, but only, he said, the specifications that applied when the road was originally built. He estimated Kicsi Lane was built in the 1950s or 1960s, when road specifications were less stringent.

Fairfield County Commissioner Judy Shupe said most private roads remain so because the residents aren’t willing to pay to bring the road up to specifications.

Fairfield County Chief Deputy Engineer Jeff Baird said the process is nothing unusual. Subdivision developers must always pay for the roads up front, but then the local government maintains them after the developer petitions the commissioners to make the road public. Right now, said Baird, Kicsi Lane residents must petition the commissioners. “It’s basically a shared driveway,” said Baird. He said the residents were provided all the material they need to petition the commissioners and he’s simply waiting for the Kicsi Lane residents to decide how to proceed.

Kicsi Lane resident Charlene Griffith said she doesn’t expect a resolution to the situation for a while. The residents need to wait for a cost estimate to bring the road up to government specs and, frankly, the residents aren’t sure they want to live on a public road. She said they’re still waiting on the sign that trustees promised and she hopes the residents will decide if they want to live on a public road within a month.

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