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Walnut Township plans ambitious paving program

MILLERSPORT – Lieb’s Island residents can look forward to resurfaced streets this summer.

Tuesday night, Walnut Township Trustees unanimously agreed to move ahead with repaving all the streets on the island starting at the culvert by the park office. The estimated cost is $47,456.

Trustees also decided to wait to see whether their application, due June 5, for Phase 2 of the Cherry Lane project is funded before deciding whether to chip and seal Cattail and Millersport roads this summer. Phase 2 requires a $97,902 local share.

Phase 1 has already been approved with the township’s share of the estimated $348,079 cost set at $87,368. The estimated $1.3 million project to widen the road from 12 feet to 18 feet, add two-foot berms on each side, move fences back to the edge of the road right-of-way and construct and slope new ditches was originally considered a three-year project. The Ohio Public Works Commission received federal stimulus funds, prompting the June 5 deadline for additional projects to be done this year.

If Phase 2 is funded this year, trustees don’t believe they can afford the additional local share payment and the $46,974 cost to chip and seal Cattail Road and the $29,013 for Millersport Road. Phase 1, which runs from Blacklick Road north to the Licking County line, will go to bid in a couple of weeks. If bids come in well below the estimate, the township’s share will drop and could allow them to do the chip and seal projects as well as Phase 2. Phase 2 runs from Blacklick Road south to Ohio 204 and Phase 3 is from Ohio 204 south to the Liberty Township border.

Cherry Lane is considered the worst road in the township given its level of traffic. It’s too narrow for school buses, maintenance trucks and emergency vehicles to pass another vehicle without one of them being forced in a ditch.

Earlier in the meeting, trustees decided to push back some Lakeside Drive repaving for at least a year. The decision came after Millersport Water Superintendent John Wood requested a right-of-way permit from trustees for a portion of the water line extension to the Village of Buckeye Lake. Millersport is installing approximately 18,500 feet of 12″ diameter water line to provide bulk water to Buckeye Lake. The new waterline will run on the west side of County Road 58 (Millersport Road), crossing under County Road 58 to run on the south side of Lakeside Road to Ohio 360. After crossing under Ohio 360, it runs on the east side to Ohio 79 where it continues on the south side of Ohio 79 to the Buckeye Lake Village limits. Installation will require at least three significant cuts into Lakeside Drive.

Road supervisor Randy Kemmerer expressed concerns that the settling of those cut areas could cause the planned new pavement to break up quickly.

“I say we lay off a year and let it settle,” Trustee Wally Gabriel suggested. Kemmerer wants a two year agreement from Millersport to repair any settling. Wood is agreeable and Millersport’s project engineer – Bill Newton of GGC Engineers – said the cuts will be filled with low density concrete to minimize settling. He believes the water line project will take about 3 months with work starting in September. The project will go out to bid next month.

Wood said he believes three fire hydrants will be installed in the housing cluster along Lakeside Drive. In the more agricultural areas along the route, fire hydrants will be added approximately every 1,000 feet if area fire departments believe the locations can be safely used.

Trustees unanimously agreed to grant the right-of-way permit and defer the Lakeside Drive area repaving for at least a year. The estimated repaving cost was about $40,000.

In other business Tuesday night, trustees formally agreed to return a now unused aluminum recycling trailer and a toter to Fairfield County’s recycling program. Trustees stopped accepting recycled materials on April 15.

Kemmerer reported that the Ohio Department of Transportation told the township that salt will cost $63.07 per ton next winter. That’s up a bit from last year, Kemmerer said. He added that Ohio 37 is supposed to reopen Thursday, weather permitting. Kemmerer said the closure increased traffic on township roads, leading to some damage and run over stop signs. He has discussed the issue with ODOT who promises “to work with the township” on the repairs/replacements.

Park Commissioner Tim Morris said the first game at the new baseball field in Fairfield Beach will be played this Sunday. He also said Fairfield County Commissioners decided to fund the township’s request for a Community Development Block Grant for a traffic improvement project in Fairfield Beach. The funds, which won’t be available until next spring, will be used to replace traffic signs in Fairfield Beach. Trustees will send a thank you letter to county commissioners.

Zoning Inspector Ralph Reeb said the third draft of the township’s revised zoning resolution will be posted on the township’s website ( by June 11. The township zoning commission will go over the latest changes at its meeting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. However, any action on the proposed revisions has been pushed back to September to give summer residents an opportunity to review it. Reeb added that zoning permits are down about 20 from this time last year and about 30 down from 2007.

Trustees’ next regular meeting is set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 at the township office.

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