POLAND Walking path takes new turn

Council must still approve the changes.
POLAND -- Plans to install a walking path along Yellow Creek in Poland Woods have taken another turn, this time leading out of the woods.
Members of the Intermodal Surface Transportation and Environmental Act committee decided Monday that the path should leave the woods on Poland Manor for about a block. Path users would cross Poland Manor and use the sidewalks until the path re-enters the woods.
Changed plans: Committee members said the path would run along fencing near the middle school football field and go near village hall before heading under the Route 170 bridge and again running along Yellow Creek.
Committee members said environmental concerns caused them to alter initial plans to keep the path along Yellow Creek. They said there was not enough time to get necessary permits from the Ohio Department of Transportation to remove wetlands.
The committee still plans for the path to run from the village and township border through the woods as much as possible and end at Walker Mill Road. Village council, which has to give final approval on the project, will hear details of the changes today.
Residents relieved: Six Poland Manor homeowners are especially happy with the sidewalk routing. The original plan put the path in behind their homes, just beyond the property lines.
Early in the path's planning stages, residents told village officials that the path would place homes at risk for break-ins and other crimes. The homeowners also said some path users might damage or litter their property.
The first phase of the path, a 2,000-foot section at the new Poland library, is complete.
Village council gave a $32,000 grant to the library for construction of the small section of the path. Officials said it will be applied to the village's portion of matching funds.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $185,000, of which $150,000 is for construction and $35,000 is for design, engineering and other costs. ODOT will pay 80 percent of the engineering costs, and the village will pay 20 percent. The village will pay the design cost.

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