Brownhelm, county officials explain Mapleview culvert, ditch projects

By Karen Cornelius

The Utilities Committee of Vermilion City Council met on Monday night, June 12, with guests from Brownhelm Township and the Lorain County Engineer’s Office invited to discuss plans for a culvert replacement on Mapleview as well as a proposed ditch project.

Brownhelm trustee Orrin Leimbach returned again to state the Mapleview culvert was a separate project to be paid by a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission. This would elminate some flooding. The street would be torn up and replaced where the new larger sized culvert is, and the city’s watermain would be lowered per an agreement with Vermilion. Peter Zwick, chief deputy engineer, from the Lorain County Engineer’s Office said the pavement would be jack-hammered out and replaced and the old culvert removed. All the money for improvements would come from Brownhelm Township’s local share and the grant. Construction should start in mid-July.

Zwick explained that the Mapleview ditch cleaning project is separate, but related between the city’s line and Brownhelm Township. It will be a project by petition, and all construction and maintenance costs will be covered by the Lorain County Storm Water District. Properties that fall on the city side and will benefit will be assessed for ongoing maintenance. He estimated about 17 city houses including those on the southern part of Rolling Meadows are involved and he estimated the cost would be less than $100 per year. He said they will remove the obstructions and restore the original flow of stormwater. Zwick said the Lorain County Auditor will handle the city assessments. He added the Lorain County Commissioners will hold hearings and determine if the plan should go forward. If they vote, yes, construction and assessing benefits will follow. This could take a couple of years.

There were objections about an easement from two property owners on West River with land butting Mapleview ditch, and they wanted city council to adopt a resolution to support their own one-time offer of cleaning. However, it was said the Lorain County Engineer can legally create an easement placed upon the land,and their property falls in Brownhelm Township. Council president Steve Herron agreed and said Lorain County has the power, not the city. “We don’t have the authority under the code.” The ditch is not a city project.

From the audience, Tom Rini of Candy Lane hoped all would be resolved and said the ditch project would help as his house floods. City engineer Lynn Miggins said that Candy Lane and flooding outside the city is the entire reason for the project.

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