Crashes along Ohio 97 near cemetery a concern for village officials


By Louise Swartzwalder - Galion Inquirer



BELLVILLE – Recent accidents on State Route 97 near the village cemetery are being examined by officials.

There is no guardrail on a stretch of that road, and several drivers have had problems going off the pavement, council members were told.

Council members and safety committee members discussed the recent mishaps last week.

Village administrator Larry Weirich told council there will be a meeting with the Ohio Department of Transportation about the problem. The section without a berm is on the road just before State Route 97 hits Fry Road.

The problem has caused drivers to go off the berm of the road, if they have had difficulty driving, he said.

That portion of State Route 97 is inside the village, he said, which likely means ODOT will do nothing about the problem.

The safety committee of council met to discuss issues concerning the village police department before its council meeting. Chief Ron Willey said his department had investigated several accidents in that location.

The village has entered into an agreement with the Clear Fork School District to provide human resource officers, who will monitor activities in schools. Willey said the village has received the payment for the first half of the year.

Mayor Terri Brenkus told council playground equipment for Palm Park has been delivered, but must be installed. The plan is to have equipment in place for Field Day on Oct. 13.

There will be a ribbon cutting and the Richland County Foundation will be recognized then. That group donated money for the equipment.

Speed limit warning signs have been placed along State Route 13 south in the area of the Duke station in the village, council was told.

Councilmember Josh Epperson, who is chair of the cemetery committee, said that group has received a small grant in the amount of $3,000, which will be used for rehabilitation of the mausoleum and a shed at the back of the property.

The Shade Tree committee is using an iPad to keep track of the different types of trees in the village. It has a drop-down list people can look at, to see what trees are around.

Weirich said using that device would be “easy for me.” He said he could say “That’s wood. That’s wood.”

There will be a meeting of the Shade Tree Commission Nov. 12 at village hall.

Brenkus said the idea is that the village can set up a canopy of desirable trees over the years.

Council adopted a proclamation for Constitution Week, Sept. 17 through 23. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) members Joyce Vanatter, Joyce Long and Pat James-Hasser accepted the proclamation.

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By Louise Swartzwalder

Galion Inquirer