COLUMBUS GROVE - The Columbus Grove Village Council met for their regular agenda meeting on Monday, Feb. 11. Residents attended the meeting to share concerns about a project involving the Maple St. railroad crossing.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) had a request for the crossing at Pearl St. to have an upgrade to the crossing lights and gate. The cost of this project is estimated at $200,000 with the village paying approximately $80,000. PUCO also gave the village an option of closing the Maple St. railroad and they would pay the total cost of improvements on Pearl St.'s crossing.

The village sent out a letter to the residents asking for their opinions on the project and how they felt about it. Most residents that attended the meeting agreed they did not think it was a good idea to just close the Maple St. crossing. One resident expressed his concerns about the safety of the residents who live on Maple St. If the railroad is closed, it is more difficult and takes a longer time for fire or EMS vehicles to get to the homes. Administrator Jeff Vance shared that he did agree there would be a safety issue if the crossing would close.

In the letter, the village officials narrowed down to four options they were considering. Most of the residents agreed on one option that includes closing Maple St. crossing and the village would buy a lot to extend Maple St. to Broadway St. on the east side of the railroad. This would give access to Broadway St. without crossing the railroad. The cost of this project for the village would be approximately $110,000.

Council took in the residents opinions, they will be looking into the best option for the village and the residents. The council did not make a decision at the meeting. Other business council discussed was getting computer systems in the police cruisers.

Chief Nick Gilgenbach shared that he recommended the council approve to get the computer systems for a number of reasons. The computer systems will be for filing reports and the officers will be able to look up information when pulling people over. Chief Gilgenbach shared that one instance having the system could of helped was when an officer pulled over someone and he gave them a false name because he did not have his license. If the officers had the system in the cruiser, they would be able to see a photo and know when someone would be giving false information.

The village council will meet again on Monday Feb, 25 at 7:30 p.m.