By Mike Kruzman /

A large crowd of residents in opposition to a proposed asphalt plant in Genoa Township caused Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting to be adjourned due to being overcapacity.

Genoa Township Supervisor Bill Rogers said that the fire marshall gives them a capacity number, and they have to abide by it.

The mood in the meeting room in the moments following the decision to adjourn was raucous as residents wanted to be heard. They were packed deep into the hallway hoping to express their voices which are largely in opposition to a proposed asphalt plant at 3080 Toddiem Drive, at the Victory Drive intersection. At question was a rezoning request of two properties located there from Industrial to a Planned Industrial Development overlay district. Currently, a scrap metal business is occupying the larger 11-acre parcel, while the smaller 5.2-acre parcel is vacant. Capital Asphalt, which previously attempted to locate a plant in Tyrone Township, but withdrew due to large resident dissent, would repurpose the scrap metal business into the asphalt plant.

The property is owned by Bruce Hundley, who formerly served on the county airport board while Genoa Township Supervisor Bill Rogers was a County Commissioner. Former Genoa Township Trustee Todd Smith discovered a Facebook post from Rogers thanking Hundley and his wife Betsy, who is the County Clerk, for their support in advance of a 2016 primary. Smith is asking that Rogers recuse himself from the discussions and vote as he sees Rogers as having a “special interest in seeing this asphalt plant go ahead so his supporter can get a payday for selling his dilapidated land.”

Rogers said that he will not do that. He told WHMI, “If I had to recuse myself, I probably couldn’t hold this office period.” He continued, saying, “I’ve been in this community since the ‘60s. So fortunately or unfortunately, I know a lot of people or have met a lot of people. So what does that got to do with this particular piece: because I know folks. There’s probably a lot of folks out there that I actually know or have met at one time, so do I have to recuse myself because I have met somebody? I don’t quite understand that.” Rogers called it unfortunate and embarrassing that a “former member of the township” would have the “audacity to even throw that out there.”

Rogers said that the vote that was postponed Monday was just for the rezoning of the property and that there were probably a lot of people at the meeting that didn’t know the exact vote that was to take place. If the rezoning should be approved in the future then the project still has to go through the full site plan process. The Supervisor said they are following state law and it has all been transparent. The rezoning request does come with previous approval recommendations from both the township and county planning commissions. Rogers said the Board still has to do their due diligence and make sure they are following the rules.

Rogers said they are looking at one or two ways for rescheduling this meeting. One option is to do it over Zoom and the other is to find a larger venue that will accommodate them. Rogers didn’t have an exact date, but said they will try to get it in as soon as they can.