Community celebrates completion of CR 12 repaving project

| November 2, 2015

MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP – Approximately six and a half miles of County Road 12 in Millcreek Township has a fresh coat of blacktop thanks to the persistence of area residents and business owners.

“This all started with us looking for a warehouse in Coshocton and working with Dorothy Skowrunski (from Coshocton Port Authority in the fall of 2014),” said Paul Nisley, who operates Penwood Manufacturing, which is located just off of CR 12. “We reconnected with her when we became concerned about the roads and she realized how much economic development is going on in this area.”

Skowrunski organized a meeting this past spring with Amish and English business owners, managers and CR 12 residents and also invited representatives from local and state agencies and government offices.

“This was not a road project,” she said. “It was an economic development project. There are 63 businesses in this area with over 300 employees that touch another 1,000 companies. They make some of the finest, handmade furniture in the United States and their products were not getting to where they were going in good shape because of the road. We had to get the road fixed.”

By working together, Skowrunski and those concerned about CR 12 discovered that the county didn’t have the funds available to pave the road, but there was still hope.

Brad Biggs from ODOT said there was grant money available if the community could do a matching fund of $100,000. After hearing this news, the Northeast Coshocton Community Infrastructure Committee was formed and money collected from area residents and businesses was put into a special fund at the Coshocton Foundation to pay for this project and any future economic development infrastructure projects. In addition to community members, help for the little more than $800,000 repaving project was received from the:

Coshocton Port Authority: Skowrunski committed $50,000 from one of the Schooler Family Foundation funds to the project.

Coshocton County Commissioners: The county commissioners are the project designated grantee. They advanced the money for the project and will be reimbursed later by the organizations cited here.

Coshocton County Engineer: County Engineer Frederick T. Wachtel contributed to the project by committing real dollars and in-kind dollars in services to match the missing dollars.

ARC/GOA: The Appalachian Regional Commission Grant Funding part of OMEGA committed dollars to the road reconstruction project.

APEG: Through its State 629 Roadwork Fund, APEG contributed to the project.

ODOT Jobs and Commerce: Committed dollars to the road reconstruction project.

“All the different entities worked together on this project,” Skowrunski said. “If one didn’t do what they said they were going to this would not have happened.”

The Northeast Coshocton Community Infrastructure Committee is extremely thankful for everyone who helped make the repaving of CR 12 from New Bedford to Mound possible. They also hope the project shows how cultures can be bridged and the Amish and English can work together to make their community stronger.

Everyone who played a role in the project and residents of the area were invited to a gathering on Oct. 28 at Millcreek Equipment on CR 12 to celebrate the completion of the project.

“I tip my hat to Dorothy (Skowrunski),” said Coshocton County Commissioner Dane Shryock, who was at the celebration with fellow commissioners Gary Fischer and Curtis Lee. “She drove this project by getting the funding for it in place and by working with the community.”

Skowrunski said no one in the state of Ohio has ever approached a project like the CR 12 community members did.

The 16 day project was completed early and just under budget.

“We had signs made up (that will be placed at either end of where the road was paved) thanking you (the community) for helping to make this project become a reality,” said County Engineer Frederick T. Wachtel. “Hopefully we can use this as a model for other projects.”

The Northeast Coshocton Community Infrastructure Committee already has its sights set on getting County Road 10 paved next year, but right now just wants to thank everyone, including God who helped make the CR 12 project a reality.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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