Prairie Township residents packed the township hall July 24 to complain about major road improvement projects that are affecting people around Beacon Hill Road and Woodlawn Avenue.

Prairie Township residents packed the township hall July 24 to complain about major road improvement projects that are affecting people around Beacon Hill Road and Woodlawn Avenue.

Most of the residents who attended the meeting live between Palmetto and Owens streets.

"Woodlawn is closed for three weeks with no access to park," resident Linda Mitten said. "There are a lot of residents with health conditions and I don't want to walk alone to where my car is parked at 5 a.m."

Residents told trustees they have had to park far away from their homes because of the construction. Not only is it unsafe, they said, but they are concerned that their cars are now targets for thieves.

"We were promised access to our property," Mitten said. "This has not only been an inconvenience, it has been impossible."

Trustee Steve Kennedy said the road department mailed notices to residents in phases. Anyone with a medical issue was to call the road department so that case could be addressed.

"Those people have been granted access to their homes," Kennedy said. "Anyone else with special needs needs to contact the road department."

Kennedy said absolutely no one is allowed on the street when crews are pouring concrete. That concrete, he said, has to be given time to cure.

"We are trying to accommodate people the best we can, but there is just no way getting around it," he said.

Mitten said she has never seen a street project where the entire street is done at the same time.

"Usually, they close one side of the road and then do the other," she said. "I don't know where they thought of closing a street for three weeks."

Kennedy once again apologized for the inconvenience and told the audience several more times that if there is a special circumstance, the township will work with residents. Trustees have already asked the Franklin County Sheriff's Department to increase patrols because of the vehicles that are parked away from residents' homes, he said.

"When it is done, you'll have one of the nicest roads in the township," Kennedy said. "Bottom line: If there is some way we can accommodate you, we will."

In other business, trustees agreed to remove trees in the rights of way of two properties along Lennox Avenue and one along Beacon Hill Road. Those trees are dead and pose a liability to the township should they fall and damage property.

"These trees are leafless and lifeless and if they fall, it will damage property," township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said.

Residents living next to the trees will be notified they will be coming down, before someone shows up to do the work, Hatmaker said.

The next Prairie Township trustees' meeting is slated for 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at the township hall, 23 Maple Drive.