During one of the summer storms that hit Brookfield this year, a tree down came on a house on Atlantic Street on the West Hill in Masury, said township Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg.
The resident who lives in the home, who could not be reached by NEWS On the Green, complained to the township trustees that the township should be responsible for removing the tree, because it was on an unbuilt section of Owsley Street, said Trustee Gary Lees.
Because this section of Owsley had never been built, it is considered a paper road, one of dozens of streets that had been laid out in development plans and named but never built.
promoIn 2005, the state had the township make a list of paper roads, Fredenburg said. If the roads had been built, their total lengths would measure eight miles, he said.
In response to the resident’s complaint, Lees asked the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office for a legal opinion on paper roads. Assistant Prosecutor Jason Toth responded:
“Please be advised that the township does not have any responsibility for maintaining the road that has not been previously established, indicated and accepted for public use. Brookfield Township is not responsible for any property damage resulting from a tree falling in or around the areas of the paper road.”
“We’re not responsible,” Lees said in his own words. “I want to let these residents know we’re not responsible.”