BUTLER TWP. — Residents on Westfall Drive in Butler Township want the township to maintain their road which they claim the township did until 2014.
Butler Township Board of Trustee’s President Joe Flanagan rejected that claim on Monday night and told them that Westfall Drive is not owned by the township but by the residents themselves and, as such, responsibility for maintenance falls to the residents – not the township.
It is unclear which position is correct.
“Westfall has never been accepted by the township and was never built to subdivision specs,” said Flanagan. “It is unfair to take resident’s tax money to rebuild your road with it. The township is not in the business of building roads, we maintain roads.”
Ken Elrich, in an email, said his family has lived on Westfall since the late 1950’s.
“Up until 2014, Butler Township has repaved the road twice and have always cleared the snow and salted the road, maintained the traffic signs (two speed limit, one Slow children at Play, one Dead end, one No parking and one Stop Sign), fixed potholes, kept the road clear of bushes and tree branches,” he wrote. “Joe Flannigan (sic) explained that the road is not up to county specifications, which might be true but, if you travel through Butler Township, there are many township roads not up to the attached specifications.
“As you can imagine, the residents are upset because we were never notified about this stop of service and we certainly don’t want to be responsible for the cost of bringing the roads up to Montgomery County regulations before the Township will service it.”
Elrich provided this newspaper with a file containing a map purported to have been retrieved from the Montgomery County website, but that has not been able to be independently verified. That map shows Westfall Drive marked as a township road.
Those residents told the trustees that they pay the same amount of taxes as other township residents and, as such, should have their road maintained as other residents do.
Aja Delaney, who also lives on Westfall, expressed concern about fire protection because of the road’s remote location and distance from fire hydrants.
“My main concern is fire coverage as there are no hydrants nearby,” said Delaney.
Elrich said that concern dates to a barn fire several years ago when water was pumped down Meeker and the barn was a complete loss. He also said his parent’s cabin burned down in 1976.
Fire Chief Dan Alig assured the residents that fire coverage was not a concern.
“We are very used to areas in the township that are not close to water,” said Alig. “We have several neighboring departments around us that can bring a lot of water quick and we can lay fire hose to the hydrants. We would have plenty of water.”
In other action on Monday, the trustees approved a two year agreement to purchase electricity for township-owned buildings from IGS Energy at $.0585 per kw/hr, a savings over the current rate of $.062.
The trustees also approved a Continued Professional Training fund for the Police Department in the amount of $4,500 due to funds being received from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. By law, those funds must be maintained and accounted for as a separate fund.
Finally, the trustees amended the revenue amounts for the JEDD and the JEDZ upwards to account for higher than anticipated revenue.
The Butler Township Trustees will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, February 27 at 7 p.m.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.