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Ottawa Hills council says 'no' to Secor Road reconstruction

  • CTY-secorbike4p-3-20

    Bicycles proceed southward on Secor Road approaching Darlington Road as they pedal to Brantford Road and back to the school. The Save Our Secor group organized against reconstructing Secor Road into a five-lane road.

    THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
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  • Secor-map-3-20

    THE BLADE
    Buy This Image

  • CTY-secorbike4p-3-19

    Bicycles proceed southward on Secor Road approaching Darlington Road as they pedal to Brantford Road and back to the school. The Save Our Secor group organized against reconstructing Secor Road into a five-lane road.

    THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
    Buy This Image

The stretch of Secor Road that bisects Ottawa Hills and Toledo’s Old Orchard neighborhood will remain as-is.

The long-debated proposal to widen the street between West Bancroft Street and Markway Road ended today when Ottawa Hills Village Council voted 4-2 not to move forward with the project. 

It would have to be a joint project between Toledo and Ottawa Hills, and today’s vote means it cannot proceed.

Officials on both sides of the street — as well as many residents — agree the corridor is narrow and crash-prone, but the sticking point for those opposed to the project is the dozen homes that would have been demolished to make room for a wider road and roundabouts.

Not only would the homes go, but they’d take property tax revenues along with them. Officials estimated a loss of about $5,000 for the village and more than $50,000 to the school district.

“I don’t think that this is the best plan that we can come up with,” councilman Jeff Gibbs said.

Today’s decision comes two weeks after council members voted to table their decision in favor of negotiating further with Toledo officials. 

Toledo came back to the table with an option that would have softened the footprint by constructing a four-foot median instead of one 10 feet wide, designating green space, and including a path for pedestrians and cyclists. But the homes would still be razed.

Toledo officials estimated the total project, including buying homes through eminent domain, would cost about $11.3 million, but grants would have covered all but about $1.8 million of the expense. Officials from both sides agreed to share the remaining cost, with Toledo paying about $1.7 million and Ottawa Hills covering $98,000.

Mr. Gibbs, Katherine O’Connell, John Lewis, and Robert Reichert voted against the project.

Rex Decker and Jack Straub voted in favor of moving forward with the reconstruction.

Contact Sarah Elms at: selms@theblade.com or 419-724-6103 or on Twitter @BySarahElms.

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