DUKE CENTER — A sparse gathering of Otto Township residents learned Wednesday evening that two bridges on township roads failed state inspections last month and one is slated to be designated impassable as of Oct. 1, if repairs are not made before that date.
Both structures span the South Branch of Knapp Creek, and both roads — Depot Street and Clark Street — are dead-end streets with the only access over the condemned bridges. Township officials are hoping that the Clark Street bridge will just need a new, lighter weight limit imposed until funds are available to properly repair the structure. The Depot Street bridge, however is going to need immediate attention for the seven households that find the bridge as their only outlet.
Township supervisors are scheduled to meet state inspectors next Thursday and hope to get a clear idea of exactly what needs to be done to make the bridge compliant with state specifications. If repairs are such that an engineer is not required, the township road crew can proceed promptly. If engineering expertise is required, a lengthy delay may cause other action to be taken.
Supervisor Chris Claycomb stated, “We are obviously concerned with the affected residents and will do everything possible to not have to close the bridge. We are working diligently with the state inspector and will work tirelessly once we are pointed in the direction that we have to go in making the repairs.”
In other business, Mike Ogilvie is heading a citizens’ committee exploring the possibility of displaying banners memorializing war veterans on utility poles in both Rixford and Duke Center. Anyone wishing to assist in this venture should contact Ogilvie at 966-3758.
The Otto Township Cemetery Association received permission to place garbage cans at both cemeteries for visitors to dispose of flowers and decorations. They also will be working with the township employees in trimming and removing some trees from each location.
It was brought to the attention of the supervisors that several complaints were lodged against the local police force being overly aggressive and following dangerously close to vehicles. Claycomb will address this matter at Sunday’s police meeting.
And an old landmark will soon be gone from the Otto Recreation Park. Grant money will be used to raze the old pool house, once THE place to be for kids of all ages. The pool has long been gone and the removal of the pool house will take with it some memories of happy, carefree summer days for many residents.
Old Home Days representative Sharon Schwab reported that volunteers are still needed to ensure the festivities run smoothly. She voiced concern that every year fewer and fewer people donate their time for this fun-filled weekend, and stated that without more people volunteering, she fears that the Old Home Days may soon go the way of the pool and pool house.