To the editor,
As an elected village councilman of Pandora, I have listened to and participated in the debate over the Road 5 project. An offer was presented to the village council from the engineer's office regarding the modifications to the intersection of Road 5 and State Route 12 in our village. This was done, in my opinion just to appease the public and allow them to proceed with their plans. In their proposal they agree to expand the roadway only on the east side of the street in the village and not expand the easement on the west side at all except for a temporary easement for the reconstruction phase. Again, this was to satisfy the folks that are vocal in opposition to the project.
Fundamentally this entire project is wrong! This entire problem could have been avoided if the engineer's office would have sought out other options as they said they did. If the truck traffic were to be redirected to state routes the extensive improvements to Road 5 would not need to be done. Further, if the truck traffic were not coming into our village on Road 5 then no improvements to the intersection would need to be done either.
People have told me that I have a greater concern about this than most because I live on State Route 12 in the village. When I moved into my home nearly 30 years ago I knew then that it was a state route and that traffic would always be there. My concern is not personal in this regard, rather it is personal because I value the rights and opinions of the residents of the village, I value the safety of our community and I value the hard earned dollars that all taxpayers entrust in our governments - federal, state, county and locally. This is my way of saying, "enough is enough!"
I have voted NO on the first two readings to accept the engineer's plans for work in our village, including the work to be done at the intersection. To explain why, I feel is prudent. First, the engineer's office was presented with an alternative route that would not bring the trucks to the intersection; rather they would be diverted slightly east of the village eliminating the improvements needed. The engineer's office said that was a good idea, but they didn't have time to pursue it. Second, the improvements they are proposing will not fix the problem. They have planned for a 40 foot truck when calculating the radius of the corners. The number of 40 foot trucks is miniscule to the number of larger rigs that make the turn. So the reason for my continued NO vote is not that I don't want progress in our community, but because I don't want to see my hard earned tax dollars go to waste!!!
The engineer's office continues to say that if they don't move forward on the project they will lose the funding. Well, I don't think that would be a bad thing. Maybe then they would focus their efforts on finding a practical, cost effective solution. I am charged as an elected official to be a good steward of the peoples' taxes. I think it is time that EVERY elected official think in this manner. Unfortunately, the powers in this project appear to have other agendas and not the voting, tax payers' funds in mind.
The Village of Pandora Council will have put before it on Tuesday, Aug. 28, the county's proposal for a third and final reading. I for one will again be voting NO. I will be encouraging my fellow council members to do the same. Maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference and stop this bureaucratic convoy that is driving to waste our tax money.
Kevin Vance
Pandora Village Council President