CHERRY VALLEY-Rest stops with restrooms are now the norm on busy highways, but according to historican Dave Lepard most communities used to have their own outhouses, often located in or near township buildings. While those necessary community facilities have gradually fallen into disrepair or disappeared entirely, visitors to Cherry Valley can still count on relief when nature calls.
The outdoor restrom located at the southeast corner of Cherry Valley Township property at the corner of Routes 6 and 193 was just one of many such facilities fallen into disrepair until Lepard, grounds keeper for Cherry Valley Township, decided to spruce up the building and its facilities.
Using scrap metal from the new township garage project and 2 by 6 planks salvaged from the demolition of the old garage, Lepard set to work refurbishing the concrete block restroom facility. The first plan of action, Lepard said, was to thoroughly disinfect and pressure-wash the long unused building.
The cleaning was followed with a fresh coat of paint, removal of a dilapidated fence and some heavy tree pruning. Lepard said the divided concrete building has separate men's and ladies sections and uses a concrete holding tank for waste. Lepard said non one seems to remember anything about the construction of the building, but he estimated it was build in the 1950's.
Currently road crews and some travelers utilize the rest stop, Lepard said. He donated some of his time and materials, while the township paid for some labor and hardware.
In other township news, trustees have applied dust control in the form of either seal coat or asphalt grindings to much of the 24 miles of gravel township roads. The high cost of dust control material, #2.08 per gallon for seal coat, leaves the trustees scrambling for another plan for the years to come. Cherry Valley Township currently has no road levy and uses dwindling gas tax and license fee funds to care for the roads.
Trustees at their recent meeting signed a resolution allowing fiscal officer rita Woodard to apply for an Ashtabula County "Moving Forward" grant in an attempt to receive funds to raze abandoned and blighted properties in the township.