City under the gun for Route 31 widening

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The City of Marysville is in crunch time leading up to its Route 31 widening project that begins next year.
City officials put two consent items on Monday night’s council meeting agenda meant to gain access to new land along the road.
The city passed a resolution earlier this year allowing the city to begin a project adding a new lane in both directions of Route 31 from Mill Road to Mill Wood Boulevard. The city also plans to install a sidewalk on the west side of the road, and a multi-use trail on the east side.
City Engineer Jeremy Hoyt apologized at Monday’s meeting for bringing the new legislation as consent items. He said after meeting with City Law Director Tim Aslaner and other officials, it was apparent time was a factor. The deadline to get the new easement and right of way information to ODOT is mid-November.
“We need to get this information back to ODOT,” he said.
The temporary easements affect 10 parcels along the road, while the city will outright acquire five other, smaller parcels to secure rights-of-way. The land in question runs along the east side of Route 31 from the Mill Road intersection to the Church of Christ. Other, smaller plots the city hopes to access are interspersed on the west side of the road.
At Tuesday night’s public service meeting, Hoyt told the committee that the temporary easements are to allow the city to make sure the slope on both sides of the road doesn’t interfere with the project and allow for proper drainage.
In an interview with the Journal-Tribune, Hoyt said “it’s almost like borrowing the land for a year.”
The city is seeking the permanent right way so it can, again, ensure proper drainage along the road, as well as putting in new traffic lights at the Mill Road intersection.
Tracy Richardson told officials that it’s important to notify homeowners that could be affected by the temporary easements.
Hoyt said they’ve reached out to those owners whose properties will be affected. He said the city is trying to reach agreements with those owners to provide compensation for the year the plots will be used. If certain owners aren’t comfortable ceding their land, the city will try to reach a compromise.
“It just becomes a negotiation at the time,” he said.
Right now, the city has the overall market values of those properties at about $70,000. Some owners have been easier to get a hold of than others, according to Hoyt.
While the owners of the Turkey Hill properties are readily available, other plots are owned by conglomerates. That forces the city to follow a web of people to find who holds the deed.
Richardson asked if the amount of permanent right-of-way the city will acquire is enough to allow future improvements to the Mill Road intersection.
Hoyt said the work that will be done in future phases of the project takes away the need for extra property right now.
Hoyt reiterated that with an intended spring 2018 start date, the city needs answers from these owners soon.
“I don’t see any legal issues,” Hoyt said. “A lot of the appropriation is the timing. We need an answer now.”



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