By BEVERLY ENOLD
News Herald Staff Writer
SCIO – Twenty-one to five against was the “straw vote” when the Conotton Creek Trail Committee met Monday, April 8, to debate widening two short sections of the Conotton Creek Trail to accommodate Amish buggies.
Chairman Harry Horstman above, lead the discussion during the meeting.
Harrison County Engineer Robert Sterling had applied for and received a grant for $180,000 to widen the trail, provided that $36,000 in matching funds could be raised. Horstman explained that he had discussed the need for funding with Joe Giles, Vice-President of Operations at the new Momentum plant, and that Giles had been very receptive, although no figures had been discussed.
“The oil companies have been very gracious,” said Horstman. “Now the Amish have to step up.”
Lack of fund-raising effort by the Amish was a sore spot with Trail Committee members in attendance.
Harrison County Commissioner Bill Host reported that he had received five or six calls on the matter.
“All the calls were against it, and all for the same reason. Horse manure.”
Earl Whiteman, another long-time member and Scio council member, caught the attention of many in attendance by suggesting that at the very least, the proposed widening on the west side of town be eliminated.
“I don’t understand why they would consider going west on any of the bike trail. The new road to the oil and gas plant, which will soon be completed, will get rid of the dangerous part. Buggies can follow the new road, go up to the American Legion and out the Legion road, or up over the hill if they have to.”
Host agreed. “We need to consider what Earl just said. Maybe the commissioners acted too quickly on this project.”
More details of the meeting can be found in this weeks print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.