Horse association presents petition, offers to buy right-of-way

CALCUTTA-Members of the Moore Road Horse Association attended Tuesday’s St. Clair Township Trustees’ meeting to again plead their case about a controversial 30-section of township land, wanting the three-member board to rescind a county decision that vacated the property.

However, as trustees again pointed out, the decision was placed in the hands of Columbiana County Commissioners, who, last month, accepted the petition and vacated the road.

Horse association members have attended nearly every meeting since the controversy over use of the right-of-way erupted earlier this year. Trustees adopted a rule halting discussion of the subject after their bi-weekly meetings became dominated by arguments over the right-of-way. At Tuesday’s meeting, board president Robert Swickard reminded horse association members of this rule and again told them the decision now lies with commissioners.

“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,” said Swickard.

However, Charles and Laura Bramel appeared insistent upon reading the statements, despite Swickard requesting that 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. His 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 he plans to be involved in the program. He called the petition to the county to vacate the right-of-way “illegal,” and the trustees’ 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,” read her statement.

Trustees did not respond following the read statements.

In other business:

* Trustees approved to chip-and-seal the following mileage on the following roads: 2.03 miles on Birch Road and 0.38 miles on Ware Road

* Trustees approved to chip-and-seal, and apply a top coat of hot mix, to the following mileage on the following roads: 0.75 miles on Amarillo Avenue, 0.09 miles on Rosetta, and 0.58 miles on Laredo.