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Solon pole barn gets reprieve

By Judy Reed
The possibility that a horse barn on Solon Township property might be torn down has caused an outcry among some of the citizens of the township. About two dozen of them attended the township meeting Tuesday evening, where the board listened to their complaints and suggestions, and ultimately removed “removal of the pole barn” from the agenda.
Clerk John Rideout said it was not being tabled, but removed from the agenda. “The architect said it is not necessary to move it (the barn) from the site right now,” he explained. The board has a new preliminary site plan that showed the pole barn could co-exist with the township hall on the same property.
Solon Township resident and architectural photographer Len Allington said that it’s a beautiful barn and he’d hate to see it torn down. “I’ve traveled all over the world taking pictures of architecture and so I probably view it in a little different light than most,” he noted.
“I think it’s great that the board decided not to tear down the barn and to let the farm market continue,” he added.
Vicky Babcock, who spearheads the weekly farmers market on the property at 15185 Algoma, said there were a lot of vendors there last Saturday, and because it rained, they were all in the pole barn.
Supervisor Bob Ellick said that if people want the pole barn to be used for various things, leaders from the community would have to come forward to do that. “We are going to be busy working on the new town hall project,” he explained.
The board voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to begin the process of working toward construction on the new town hall. Ellick voted against it because he didn’t like the date put forth in the timeline regarding when construction should begin, which is April 1. He has also said he’d like to see the township not finance any part of it.
Clerk John Rideout said that they could pay cash since they have over a million dollars in the bank, and finance a portion. “It’s $650,000 and we might finance a couple hundred thousand. Each year we wait the price goes up. It makes more sense to invest our money in the property than let it sit in the bank right now.”
Many in the audience asked the board to slow down, saying it was the first time the public had seen the new site plan. Several members on the board said they weren’t rushing, but in fact had been working on the plan for a new township hall for a number of years.
Allington also said he didn’t think they should rush into building the township hall before sketching out a complete site plan, including a soccer field, baseball field, picnic areas, and other amenities. “Wouldn’t you look at the whole property first?” he asked.

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