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Thompson trustees oppose Republic Wind, ODOT to do traffic study at 224/67

Thompson Township has passed a resolution opposing the Republic Wind project and the county has received word that the Ohio Department of Transportation will conduct a traffic study at US 224 and SR 67 this spring.

Seneca County Commissioners heard both updates during their meeting Thursday.

Kevin Oney, a newly-appointed Thompson Township trustee, reported that the township has approved a resolution opposing the Republic Wind commercial wind turbine project. He said the previous trustees had chosen not to oppose the project, but there has been a change in the board’s makeup.

Oney said the trustees took into consideration the opposition of Thompson Township residents before making their decision. He said the trustees are not convinced the jobs created and the benefits to the community outweigh the negative aspects of the wind turbines and the “degradation of living conditions.”

Commissioner Shayne Thomas said the township should notify the county prosecutor’s office of the change so Thompson can be added to the list of opposing townships.

Commissioner Tony Paradiso said the commissioners remain in support of the state House and Senate bills that would provide a means for a local vote on wind projects by referendum.

Regarding the traffic study, Paradiso said the commissioners, township and other parties which send a letter to ODOT about two weeks have received an answer.

The letter said ODOT plans to conduct a study of the US 224/SR 67 intersection, evaluating the most recent five years of crash data; traffic volume data, which includes motorized traffic, pedestrians and bicycles; turn lane analysis; alternate forms of traffic control, which might include multi-way stop, traffic signal or roundabout.

ODOT is send a followup report with the study results.

“Our goal is to identify and implement cost-effective countermeasures which will reduce the frequency and severity of crashes,” the ODOT letter states.

In other business, the commissioners changed the time of next Thursday’s meeting to 4 p.m. to enable the common pleas court judges to meet with them regarding signage for the Justice Center and other matters.

They also approved:

• A $50,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Special Projects Fund for common pleas court.

• A $20,257 supplemental appropriation to the Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison Grant Fund for contract services for common pleas court.

• A $1,110.68 supplemental appropriation to the County Sewer District Fund to the Transfers Out Line.

• A $27.60 supplemental appropriation to the Allen Eiry Special Guardianship Fund for hospitalization.

• A contract with Huron County Commissioners for the receipt, custody and care of Huron County juveniles on behalf of the Seneca County Youth Center for 2020.

• Appointing David LaRocco as special prosecutor on behalf of the Seneca County prosecutor.

• Setting 10:30 a.m. Feb. 27 to receive sealed bids for a 64-passenger yellow school bus on behalf of Seneca County Opportunity Center.

• Setting 10:15 a.m. Feb. 27 to received sealed bids for a one-year lease of 147 acres of county-owned farmland in Eden Township.

• Setting 10 a.m. March 5 to received sealed bids for a case management system for common pleas court.

• Authorizing funds to purchase 37.5 acres through the Federal Aviation Administration for the Airport Improvement Program runway extension. FAA is to pay 90% of the $581,000 project, leaving $55,132 as the county’s part, which includes 5% of the cost plus miscellaneous expenses.