HOWARD — Monroe Mills Road poses a problem for Howard and Monroe townships. Half of the road is in one township, half in the other. This led to an agreement between the two townships in the late 1970s.
“We own half the road and they own half the road,” said Howard Township Trustee Paul Chapman. “The ditching that needs to be done before the road can be paved is on [Monroe Township’s] side of the road. We have the money to do our side but they don’t seem to have the money to do their side.”
The original agreement had Howard Township taking care of normal maintenence of the road, which included patching and plowing.
“But any major modifications were supposed to be done together,” Chapman said. “Back then, when the agreement was made, it was just a gravel road. Now it’s been blacktopped and it’s needed work on it for years. When I first came on as trustee, Monroe Township told us if they gave them two or three years they would have the money available. It’s been going on now for five or six years, and they never seem to have any money to do it.”
Chapman said work cannot proceed on Monroe Mills Road until Monroe Township can do any of the work on the ditches and culverts. In addition to doing that work, Monroe Township is also responsible for half of the cost of repaving the road.
The cemetery at the juncture of Monroe Mills and Canada roads is also part of the original agreement between the two townships.
“That cemetery is in Monroe Township,” Chapman explained. “But if we did the plowing and patching [of Monroe Mills Road] they would take care of the cemetery.”
The two sides are working on putting together a new agreement because of the way the situation has changed over the years.
“Back then, [the road] was just gravel,” said Monroe Township Trustee Debbie McIlvoy. “We took care of the cemetery and all of the openings and closings and all the bookwork and mowing in the summer. And they would take care of the gravel road. Now things have changed, so we’re in the process of writing a new agreement. We are working on the wording right now, and that hasn’t even been tossed back and forth between [the Monroe trustees].”
Monroe Trustee Neil Bower is working on putting together a new agreement to present to Howard Township. Although he is not ready to reveal details, he did say he wants to get something that is fair to both sides.
“Right now it’s at the prosecutor’s office, so right now there’s nothing new to report,” said Bower. “We’re just trying to update an agreement that was made back in the 1970s and that’s the only issue that’s going on.”
McIlvoy said the prosecutor’s office will put the new agreement in a form that conforms to the Ohio Revised Code. It will then be presented to trustees of both townships for revision or adoption.