The controversy over road conditions in Morrow County will be the subject of a “Town Hall Meeting” on August 6 in the Community Room at the Community Services Building at 7:30 pm.

The main point of the public meeting is to ‘let people know what the plan is,’ says Asst. Morrow County Engineer Bart Dennison. “The biggest thing I want to do is move the county forward. This meeting is not about how we got here. We have worked closely with Brandon Miller and Pat Davies, showing where our work has gone so far this year and projections for the next couple of years.”

He said the meeting will focus on communication between residents and the local government.

“The last two winters have been very hard in this county, and we have been out there every day patching to get the roads somewhat driveable,” says Dennison. “We still have roads that we haven’t even touched this year. What we have spent on hot and cold patch mix so far is in the thousands of dollars.”

Dennison says the engineer’s office will be working on 40-50 miles of roads this year. Their office has been performing traffic counts on roads and the most highly travelled roads will be repaired first. Most recently, County Road 25 was paved between Fulton and State Route 314. “It’s our most travelled road in the whole county,” Dennison says. “County Road 26 comes after that. That’s what we will be explaining.”

He said he wants a productive meeting and knows people will have questions. He plans to have the maps and figures to help clarify the challenges and plan.

Commissioner Tom Whiston will be the moderator for the meeting.

“We will have a format and agenda and stick to it,” he said Monday. “If people have an issue with their road, we’ll take that. We have 180 written complaints right now. Hopefully we can address most of the issues people have, and let them know where the ‘arteries’ are.”

Where the money comes from to fix roads is another topic he looks forward to addressing. “We need them to understand property taxes don’t go toward roads, and the gasoline tax doesn’t cover it all.”

“What drives this paving plan is traffic counts,” Commissioner Dick Miller said. “[Dennison] is going to spend his money where it benefits the most people.”

Whiston said roads won’t be fixed overnight, and they are the number one problem the county is facing right now.

Reach Randa Wagner at 419-946-3010, ext. 1803 or on Twitter@MorrCoSentinel.

By Randa Wagner

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