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Hamiltonban Township reviews
 abandonment inquiry

Adam Yalch

(5/2) The Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors considered an inquiry regarding the abandonment of a section of Knox Road at their May 1 meeting.

Rob Lefever, who resides on Knox Road in the township, raised the possibility of closing a section of the road to the general public, citing safety reasons and other concerns.

Any road can be dangerous, but Knox Road is a little different. In addition to being an unpaved, gravel road, it also splits Lefeverís property, separating his home from his barn.

According to Lefever, motorists who utilize Knox Road travel at speeds that well-exceed the posted speed limit. In addition to excessive speeds, the graveled road makes speeding along it even more dangerous.

Township police Officer Juanita Larmer verified at the meeting that the high volume of traffic observed tended to not be caused by predominantly Knox Road residents.

"There is more traffic on that road than you are aware of," she said. "They are all not residents."

Lefever even spoke of finding bullet holes in road signs along his property.

His hope is to privatize the road except to emergency vehicles and local residents in order to eliminate these dangers posed to him and other property owners along Knox.

Township Solicitor Matthew Battersby informed Lefever there was a process which needs to be followed in order to request an abandonment of a public roadway, beginning with the filing of a petition to abandon it signed by the majority of the property owners along the affected portion.

If and when such a document was then submitted to the town, a public hearing would be held on the proposal, and the supervisors would then make a determination based on comments obtained during that hearing.

Battersby also noted that the property owners along the abandoned section would have to establish a maintenance agreement in order to ensure the road continued to be safe for emergency vehicle and resident use.

Lefever said he would contact the property owners who reside along the potentially affected section of the road to see if they are agreeable to the concept.

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