The proposed plan to move Walmart and Sam's Club from Fairlawn into Copley Township has ruffled feathers.
News Channel 5 reports Rothrock Road at Sawgrass Drive in Fairlawn will be blocked by a concrete barrier starting April 10. Copley Township says that this poses a safety risk to its residents.
Fairlawn Deputy Director Ernie Staten says motorists will be alerted to the closure starting Thursday, March 22.
"This will be a total road closure and there will be no opportunity to pass by," he said.
A meeting took place Wednesday morning at Fairlawn City Hall to discuss the issue.
Copley Fire Chief Michael Benson is strongly opposed to the proposal.
"Please don't do it," he said. "Don't do it."
Benson says response times will be increased with the barrier, causing probelms for Copley residents who need help.
The wall will eventually be replaced by gates to be used only by police, fire and school buses. The plan is to move the stores to an undeveloped section of land on Rothrock Road.
Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth says that Walmart's income taxes are less than 5 percent of the city's tax revenue and the barriers are about safety, not money.
Some Fairlawn residents support the barriers, such as Tom Lorini.
"People would be cutting through to go over to Walmart, which would bring up traffic. It would just be almost a nuisance," he said.
A trial date between Fairlawn and Copley Township regarding the closure is scheduled for April 30 at Summit County Common Pleas Court.
Some residents have also filed lawsuits in an attempt to re-open the road.
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