Village seeks dismissal in road dispute

Larry Limpf

The Village of Walbridge is seeking a dismissal of a motion for summary judgment filed by Lake Township in a dispute over which jurisdiction is responsible for maintaining a stretch of Drouillard Road.
The village filed its response to the motion June 13 in Wood County Common Pleas Court, arguing that the township’s motion doesn’t meet the criteria required for the court to issue a declaratory judgment.
The township filed a complaint against the village, contending Walbridge has reneged on a 1977 agreement to maintain Drouillard from the village limits south to where Drouillard meets Cummings Road.
The village response acknowledges the agreement but contends the supporting documents provided by the township were not authenticated as required by state law.
“Walbridge acknowledges only that the documents were ‘copies’ and does not admit that they contain undisputed facts,” the village says in its motion for dismissal. Because no hearing was ever held, there is no record on which to base the township’s claims, no depositions were taken, and no interrogatories have been answered.”
The village also argues, “…no judgment this court could make would resolve the parties’ underlying dispute. Such an order is not contemplated in a declaratory judgment action, nor can it be issued absent any review of admissible evidence by this court. Accordingly, this case should be dismissed as a matter of law, since it is not a proper subject for a declaratory judgment action.”
In another filing with the court and in correspondence with township officials, the village denied it was responsible for maintaining the road and the signers of the agreement were not authorized to hold the jurisdictions to it in perpetuity.
The township claims the agreement binds the village to maintaining the stretch of Drouillard Road in exchange for the township not opposing the annexation of township property that included land where the Stanley rail yard is located.
The disagreement came to a head this past winter when the township submitted an invoice for $116.31 to the village for repairing a pothole in the northbound lane of Drouillard, south of Ayers Road. The village has refused to reimburse the township.
In addition, the township claims it incurred $367 in labor costs and $208 for salt to remove snow between Jan. 12 and 31 of this year.
In a January 2017 letter to the township trustees, James Bishop, village administrator, contends the village has been maintaining Luckey Road, which sits west of Stanley yard, even though village officials consider it the responsibility of the township.


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