Mediation Produces Agreement Concerning Damaged Roads
Mediation was successful between Fairfield County and the ODNR recently concerning road damage caused by the dam. The positive outcome of the mediation was announced by Fairfield County Engineer Jeremiah Upp P. E., P.S. and assistant county prosecutor Amy Brown-Thompson at the Walnut Township Trustees monthly meeting at the beginning of May.
Upp told the trustees that prior to mediation no agreement was reached between the ODNR and the county. The county and township executed a Road Maintenance Agreement before construction started to cover the damage that occurred, but months of negotiating did not result in an agreement about the need for repairs. That’s when a mediator was called in to help those involved reach a decision.
According to Upp and Brown-Thompson, the mediation session lasted all day. There are still a few outstanding issues, but maintenance responsibility is now on the township. According to Upp, the settlement will result in $175,000 being allocated to mill down the asphalt on Lieb Island Road. There will also be about three to four inches of new asphalt added to the road. Certain areas might require redoing the base entirely.
The settlement reached in mediation includes $220,000 for the resurfacing of Millersport Road and $55,000 for the same work to be done on Seller’s Point Drive.
All in all, the settlement totaled $350,000.
The trustees were given the opportunity to vote on the settlement and approved in unanimously. Upp considers it a “significant accomplishment” based on where negotiations began. One of the trustees called the process “… a long road,” but thanked both Upp and Brown-Thompson for their help.