PDT Staff Writer
In March an F-0 tornado toppled the Otway Fire Department Storage building. As a result the department has decided to relocate and build a new fire station. Before construction can begin the village and department have to overcome some hurdles.
According to the mayor of Otway, Sue Nichols, the village needs to expand its corporation limits in order to build a new fire station where they want to.
“We are looking to build a new fire station at the end of Otway on (State Route) 73 on land was donated to the village,” Nichols said. “The state highway department (Ohio Department of Transportation) will not let them (fire department) put in an access (driveway) to the property. Because the land is located in a curve and there is a speed limit issue.”
She said if the village moves the corporation limit to the other side of the donated land then an easier access could be installed.
“If we move the corporation line to the other side of the donated land, where it drops the speed limit down to 35 (miles per hour) then they can go ahead and build it there,” Nichols said.
Nichols said, since the speed limit is 55 mph in that curve, there is not enough stopping distance if the trucks are pulling out on the highway. That’s the reason the corporation limit has to be moved.
According to Kathleen Fuller, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 9 spokeswoman, the village of Otway fire department approached ODOT in August with a driveway permit request.
“They had requested a permit for a driveway access, for the new fire department they are going to construct,” Fuller said. “There are some sight distance issues at the location where they wanted to build the driveway. So, we were not able to grant the permit. There is what we call a site and a stopping distance issues, because of the location of it, it would create a safety hazard for motorists.”
She said in September members of ODOT’s Traffic Department met with Otway Fire Department Chief Rick Gambill on the site to talk about options.
“They (Otway Fire Department) will submit another permit request to our traffic department. They will do some measurements, they always make sure before they grant a permit they look at all aspects of the request,” Fuller said.
She said before construction can begin they will need a driveway permit.
“Our clerk has been in contact with our attorney to find out how to do this,” Nichols said. “It can be done but, we’ve got to let our attorney take care of that. The fire department has already purchased the building, they are ready to start.”
According to Mark Kuhn, Scioto County Prosecutor, assistant prosecuting attorney David Huddleston has spoken with the Brush Creek Township Trustees about the issue and knows they are supportive.
“We have not heard anything from the village yet, or through their lawyer, although I know the township is supportive,” Kuhn said.
Nichols said she could not put a time frame on when all of this would take place and construction can begin on a new fire station.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.