I am told that Sonny Dupler, candidate for Walnut Township Trustee, stated that we (Tom and Sherrie Upp) refused an offer of $5700 for land taken from us because it apparently wasn’t enough for us, leaving the impression that greed was the only reason we refused it. Greed has nothing to do with it. We refused their offer because the area they wanted to buy lay directly over our connector tile that drained over 171 acres of our land plus another 50 or more acres of neighboring farmland.
Since the project was professed to be a cure for several leaning guardrail along our Cattail Road field, and since the land and the ditch was on our private property, we offered to move our ditch over to the west enough for the trustees to build a retaining wall and shore up the berm to allow them to fix the guardrail. We asked them to pay for any tile involved at cost and we would provide all the labor at no expense to the township. This assured us that our tile would not be endangered by this project, which was required after the township road crew used chemicals to burn down all the vegetation on the bank, causing the bank to erode, loosening the soil around the guardrail posts. The crumbling edge of the road, that they caused by paving the berm and not preparing it as part of the road, cracked loose between the old road surface and the berm.
Twice, two trustees met with Tom Upp and agreed to a plan to solve the guardrail problem with very little cost to the township and twice they called back later and said the third trustee said rejected it. At this point, I reminded them that two out of three is a majority and they didn’t need the third vote to do the agreed upon plan.
In a phone conversation with- Sonny Dupler, when I asked why he didn’t want a retaining wall, he told me, “It is too rinky dink, we don’t want that.” I pointed out that the county had fixed Coonpath Road that way after a bridge washout cost a life, adding tha Coonpath Road has a lot more traffic than Cattail Road.
In 2003, we hired an attorney and called Fairfield County Soil and Water to come and assess the project, since the trustees seemed to have no concern for our tiling system.
The law says that everyone has the right of free flowing water, except in Walnut Township, it seems. We are still in litigation with this case, after six years of fear, fury and frustration plus more than $75,000 in attorney fees, trying to correct what this plan did to our drainage tile.
The roadway, if you drive south on Cattail Road between Canal Road and Ohio 188 has not been fixed.This horrible problem they were so concerned about with the crumbling roadway edge, was just recently lightly tarred and dusted with stone,right over that crumbling edge that was enough of a public safety issue according to the trustees to allow them to take our land by eminent domain.
In the future, Mr. Dupler, if you are going to use ourname in your campaign efforts, make sure you tell it all, not just the part that serves your purpose.