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Whose pothole is it anyway?

N-April-Fools-PotHoleA dispute over legal boundaries has left motorists dodging a crater in the middle of the road and no one to appeal to.

A pothole at White Creek and Shady Lane has been steadily growing this winter, in part due to an underground spring. The other reason is lack of road maintenance. And that won’t be remedied anytime soon, because the pothole is—quite literally—in no man’s land.

With road budgets dwindling and projects being scaled back, the city and townships began looking at critical areas to repair. While looking at this particular intersection, the city discovered that due to a legal technicality, it was not included in the 425 agreement with Solon Township and therefore not in the city’s jurisdiction.

“We’ve been maintaining that intersection for years,” said a city spokesperson. “But we can’t afford to use taxpayer money to repair something that doesn’t belong to us.”

Solon Township disagrees with that perspective. “They should honor the spirit of the agreement,” they said. “There is nothing in that agreement that shows it belongs to us either.”

In the meantime, drivers are getting flat tires and bottoming out in the hole. “It’s really bad when it snows because you can’t see the hole,” said one driver, who has had his car in the shop three times due to the pothole.  “It’s ridiculous that they can’t fix it. Does someone have to get hurt?”

Kent County was contacted to see if they could help repair the road, but they said they don’t have the money for anything north of 14 Mile Road.

A new community group called the “Shady Lane pothole initiative” is looking for donations of cash to help solve the problem. They plan to hold a meeting on Tuesday, April 1 at a local tavern to discuss whether to use the cash to fill the hole or use the money to pay for their drinks.

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