By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON — Motorists traveling southbound on Interstate-675 will now know exactly where to exit for the Village of Enon.
Two newly installed signs, one erected along the southbound lanes of the freeway and one mounted on the crossover signpost at the Enon exit, now direct motorists to the village. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) gave village officials the green light in September, and the new directional signs were installed on Oct. 4.
Enon Mayor Tim Howard told village residents during the Tuesday, Oct. 11 village council meeting that Councilwoman Brenda Sweet and Enon Police Chief Lewis Wilcox played an instrumental role in procuring the signage for the village. Howard noted that many visitors attending village events would greatly benefit from the directional signage.
“The village had wanted Enon signage placed on the southbound lanes of I-675 at State Route 444 for several years, maybe close to 10,” Howard said. “Brenda had expressed an interest in taking on that project, along with Chief Wilcox.”
Sweet explained that she decided to embark on the project a few years ago after returning to Enon from Medway.
“I decided to take I-675 south and was looking for the Enon exit, but at the last minute, I realized that the exit signs only directed me to State Route 444 and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There was no Enon exit sign,” Sweet said. “That made me wonder, especially after taking the exit and seeing the Enon sign at the bottom of the ramp, why the only signage was after you took the exit. How were motorists to know what exit to take, especially if they were unfamiliar with the area?”
Sweet also noted that businesses on the west side of Enon would also profit by having the signage along the southbound lanes of I-675.
“I still ponder why there were Enon exit signs along the northbound lanes of I-675 but not the southbound lanes. It makes no sense to me,” said Sweet. “When I was appointed to village council, I asked how to go about getting the signage done. I was told that ODOT was the agency to contact.”
According to Chief Wilcox, Sweet approached him and asked for his assistance in 2014 when he was serving as interim village administrator. Wilcox contacted ODOT representatives who told him that “they would look into it,” but village officials heard nothing more from the state agency following that conversation. After Sweet and Wilcox discussed the issue again in May, Sweet contacted the office of Ohio State Representative Kyle Koehler and solicited his assistance with the project.
“I asked Kyle to see what he could do to get ODOT moving on this project. Within a few weeks, Chief Wilcox received an e-mail describing what the signage would look like,” said Sweet. “The chief contacted ODOT again Sept. 9 to find out when they would install the signs. We wanted them installed in time for the Enon Apple Butter Festival. I ran into Kyle at another function and mentioned to him that the signs were not up, and he told his assistant to check into it. I assume that she did because the chief received an install date post-haste.”
Koehler pointed out that he simply contacted a liaison with ODOT District seven who was able to provide assistance with the project and a resolution to the problems.
“A huge part of representing this district involves just connecting people to the right people,” Koehler said. “I have to know my constituents and understand their needs to properly represent them in Columbus. Being actively involved all over the county has helped me better serve this district. I want people to know that I am there for them.”
Sweet also expressed her gratitude to Wilcox and Koehler for their never-ending efforts and support.
“I merely asked the right people, and the project got done,” Sweet said. “I received a text, along with some pictures, from the chief on Friday, Oct. 7, which was the day before the Enon Apple Butter Festival. The chief stated: ‘The signs are up!’”
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.