DARKE COUNTY – Darke County Commissioners on Wednesday approved a resolution to vacate a portion of Old State Route 242, which lies at the west end of the Darke County Airport.
The portion of road is being closed to accomodate an upcoming runway extension project.
Commissioner Mike Rhoades said he expects the closure to take place by Thanksgiving.
Prior to voting on the resolution Wednesday, commission conducted a public hearing for those wishing to ask questions.
Mike Oliver, who resides on a portion of State Route 242 not affected by the change, was present. Oliver said he had been asked to be in attendance by Judi York, who was unable to attend the hearing.
York’s property is located on the portion of roadway scheduled to be closed.
York has had concerns about the size of the cul-de-sac county workers constructed for traffic needing to turn around at the closure.
York told the Early Bird she didn’t believe the improved cul-de-sac was large enough for fire equipment to be able to turn around. She also said she was concerned about her property in case of an emergency.
“I’d like the fire department to be able to service my home,” York said. “When they do close this road it’s going to be a problem.”
Oliver’s questions in behalf of York included asking if the county was going to enlarge the cul-de-sac, citing snow plows, school buses and safety equipment may be impeded from conducting a safe turn around.
Commissioner Mike Rhoades answered Oliver’s concerns.
“(Jim) Surber (county engineer) is going to add on to that,” Rhoades said of the turn around.
“Will they be able to turn around?” following the planned update, asked Oliver.
“Yes,” stated Surber, who also was in attendance during the public hearing.
“It’s in the process of being done,” Rhoades said.
Some mis-information about the York property being serviced by fire and other emergency equipment was answered by Versailles Fire Chief Brian Pearson last week.
Pearson said the local public safety entities had been made aware of the impending closure and that the York property would be treated as any other property with a long lane. Pearson said his department had hoses and equipment available to service a fire on the closed portion of Old State Route 242.
“We have a game plan,” Pearson said of the York property.
Also Wednesday, commissioners approved a resolution moving the maintenance of Chase Road from Richland and Wayne townships to the county engineer.
PHOTO CAPTION: Old State Route 242 is now closed to thru traffic. (Susan Hartley photo)