Tempers flared last night as residents voiced opposition to the Sylvania Township trustees' plan to move the intersection of Corey and Whiteford roads.
Residents are against moving the intersection north, which the trustees propose to make more room for left turns on Corey. Trustees ignored alternatives presented months ago, said residents, who likened the trustees to big government spending money carelessly and not acting in accordance with the wishes of the community.
Tom Sussman, who leads the opposition and has an anti-project web site, was the first to voice his anger about trustees spending about $245,000 to acquire a house at 4102 Corey for the project.
In fact, residents learned that the township spent about $155,000 for the acquisition before letting them know about the proposal.
“I am angry the project proceeded as far as it did with little resident input,” Mr. Sussman said after the meeting. “That's a high degree of commitment.”
Last night, he circulated a petition and got about two dozen signatures from people who indicated they would donate money to a legal fund to fight the relocation.
During the meeting, George Fanning, the chairman of the trustees, used his gavel at least four times to quiet the crowd from shouting questions and comments.
Residents have ideas such as speed bumps, lowering the speed limit to 25 mph, banning left turns completely, or banning them during peak hours. Two residents offered to pay for the speed limit signs.
After the two-hour meeting, trustees voted to establish a committee that would include several residents and a trustee to get information from the county about the alternatives.
The committee could have some answers in 30 days.
Meanwhile, the trustees said they based their decision on engineering and traffic reports.
The proposed intersection would align Corey with Rolandale Avenue, where Mr. Sussman lives.
“I'm not an expert, and I don't think you are,” Trustee Dick Moses snapped at Mr. Sussman at one point.
Trustee Dock Treece said the trustees spent a “tremendous amount of time on this” and they would rank the opinions of experts above the residents.
“If we can find a way to resolve the problem without spending money, that's fine,” Mr. Treece said after the meeting. “It's a major safety issue, and we have to resolve the safety issue,” he said.
The problem is vehicles turning left onto Corey from Whiteford.
Now, there is only room for two vehicles to turn left. The trustees favor a plan that would allow seven vehicles to make a left turn. Residents say that would result in more traffic on Corey.
The trustees said the project would cost an estimated $511,000. But after getting a grant from the state, other contributions, and selling two lots, the trustees put the actual cost to the township at about $212,000. If it goes forward, the project would start in the spring.
That's money that could be spent elsewhere, the residents said, offering the legal annexation battles between Sylvania and the township as the prime example.
“In past meetings, ideas have been proposed and the trustees seemed interested and then nothing happened and the project progressed,” Mr. Sussman said. “I am cautiously optimistic.”