Horsemen keeping stirrups in the sides of St. Clair trustees

CALCUTTA-Members of the Moore Road Horse Association attended Tuesday’s St. Clair Township trustee meeting to plead their case to have the vacation process for a 30-foot section of township right-of-way rescinded.

However, as trustees pointed out, the decision is in the hands of county commissioners who accepted a petition for vacation of the right of way last month.

Horse association members have attended nearly every meeting since the controversy over their use of the right-of-way erupted earlier this year. Trustees adopted a rule halting discussion of the controversy after their bi-weekly meetings became dominated by arguments over the right-of-way. Trustee Robert Swickard reiterated their stance Tuesday.

“I know why you guys are here, but, again, we’re not going to take any comments on it or anything – it’s in the county’s hands now, so that’s the end of that,” Swickard said.

However, Charles and Laura Bramel were insistent on reading the statements despite Swickard requesting they submit them instead of reading them aloud. The Bramels also presented trustees with a petition addressed to county commissioners requesting they not vacate any portion of Moore Road. The petition contained the names of more than 70 county residents.

Charles Bramel, who according to his statement is a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army as a member 1/39 Infantry Brigade and the 1/137 Aviation Battalion of the Ohio National Guard, came to the meeting dressed in full military regalia.

Bramel’s statement claimed the ability of horseback riders to use the right-of-way is “essential for the success of the Wounded Warrior Program started in our township.” Bramel has stated at previous meetings that he plans to be involved in the program.

Bramel’s statement went on to call the petition to the county to vacate the right of way “illegal” and the trustee’s approval of the petition “based on a lie.” Bramel’s statement asks trustees to either rescind the petition or sell him the 1.8 acres of right of way for $5,000.

Laura Bramel said in her statement that she also uses the right-of-way for private horseback riding lessons.

“To take away our safe access to Beaver Creek State Park is to say this part of our society doesn’t merit your consideration,” reads Laura Bramel’s statement. She ended her statement by also asking trustees to rescind their decision.

Trustees spoke no further on the matter following the Bramels’ statements.

In other business, trustees approved chip and sealing for 2.03 miles on Birch Road and .38 miles on Ware Road. They approved chip and sealing and applying a top coat of hot mix to .75 miles on Amarillo Avenue, .09 miles on Rosetta and .58 miles on Laredo.