More than 150 residents signed petitions against the project.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
POLAND -- After months of debate, village officials have approved the local funds to install a walking path through Poland Woods, but opposition to the idea remains strong.
The path's total cost is estimated to be $190,000. A grant from the state will cover $120,000 of the cost and the village will have to pick up the remaining $70,000. Council recently approved the village share.
The $70,000 in village funds will likely come from $430,000 the village will receive in estate taxes.
Rebecca Rogers, chairwoman of the village's Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act Committee, said there is no definite route for the path, but it will likely run from the village and township border near Lake Hamilton along Yellow Creek and end at Walker Mill Road.
Some village residents, however, are unhappy with the idea of a path running through the woods -- especially those residents with homes near the forest.
More than 150 residents have signed petitions asking that the path not be installed, citing safety and privacy concerns. Petitioners also say there is a lack of available money to maintain the path and an increase in potential liability for the village in the event of an accident.
As far as maintaining the path once it is in place, Rogers said there is no set plan, but it will be taken care of on a volunteer basis by village residents. Rogers said she has not seen any of the petitions.
Opponents: Debbie Lendi of North Main Street is one of those residents who signed the petition. Lendi said the path is not necessary because individuals can explore the forest as it is without a set trail.
Lendi also has a sister who lives on Poland Manor Drive, where a portion of the path will pass directly behind the rear property line of residents. She said those people, including her sister, should not have to sit on their patios and watch strangers walk through the woods without the benefit of some type of fencing.
Bob Limmer also is a Poland Manor Drive resident and has been adamantly against the path since the idea first surfaced.
He has said residents on the street have a list of concerns including noise, loose dogs and damage to the woods. Such a path, he has said, would give less-than-honest individuals the opportunity to commit crimes in the area.
Village law enforcement has said there is no situation that can arise from the path's installation that cannot be handled to the residents' satisfaction. Added patrols in the area have been mentioned.
Rogers said there is no date set to begin work on the path. She said plans are still in the design stage.