Bike Trail Weighed Against RID
After county representatives left the Chardon City Council meeting last Thursday, council voted to approve four resolutions accepting donations of easements from property owners for…
After county representatives left the Chardon City Council meeting last Thursday, council voted to approve four resolutions accepting donations of easements from property owners for the construction of Maple Highlands Trail through the city from Fifth Avenue to Center Street.
Three more easements are necessary in order for the trail to be built from Center Street to Water Street. One of those easements is across property owned by the county on the south side of Center Street.
County commissioners were due to vote on that easement at their Dec. 17 meeting, King said, adding Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri is definitely opposed to allowing the right-of-way to be dedicated to the multi-purpose trail.
Commissioners, however, did not take action on the item or even have it on their agenda Tuesday.
“(The decision) is resting on the shoulders of the two other commissioners. I can’t get a good idea of how this is going to pan out,” King said last Thursday, adding taking the trail another route through the city would cause delays and may affect the federal funding in place.
Rerouting could cost $80,000 to $100,000, he said.
City Planning and Zoning Administrator Steve Yaney said new environmental and architectural studies would have to be done if the route changes, adding that any of the property owners are entitled to fair compensation for the easements.
Councilwoman Nancy McArthur said it is her opinion that Samide will vote for the path easement. Commissioner Blake Rear is new and asked a lot of questions, but McArthur said she doesn’t know if he will vote in favor of the easement.
“They’re concerned about the RID,” she said.
The grant will provide about $62,000 to pay for the easement across the county property and Samide indicated at a previous meeting the county may ask for more, King said.
“They need to hear from the public,” McArthur said last Thursday. “Blake knows he has the swing vote on this issue.”
The timing of the issue has been unfortunate, with the RID and a new county commissioner in the mix, she said. When the city connection for the Maple Highlands Trail was being planned over the last few years, the city assumed the county would cooperate.
“I don’t think any of us anticipated a problem,” McArthur said.
King said the city has been open about the plans and it will be up to the commissioners.
“They have all the information they need to make their decision,” he said.
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