County seeks Dalzell Ditch cleaning bids

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

The Hancock County commissioners on Thursday approved a resolution to seek bids for the long-debated maintenance of Dalzell Ditch.

The project, estimated to cost more than $600,000, initially will be funded by the county, which will be reimbursed mainly through assessments of residents in the ditch’s watershed.

Property owners, who received assessment letters this summer, will pay a total of about $497,777.

The state will pay about $8,113; Liberty Township will contribute about $21,547; and Findlay will pay about $82,181 for a project estimated at about $609,000.

Dalzell Ditch, which runs through residential neighborhoods in northwestern Findlay, has been a source of flooding problems in the area. Maintenance of the ditch has been discussed several times, going as far back as the early 1990s.

Separately Thursday, a woman asked the commissioners about recycling locations in the county.

Heather Pendleton, project operations coordinator, said there are 20-25 locations in the county that accept recyclable materials besides Litter Landing in Findlay. A list of the locations is posted on the county’s website at http://co.hancock.oh.us under government services.

She said a study was done previously by a consultant, which recommended locations based on use of the bins.

Commissioner Mark Gazarek said some township trustees have requested removal of the bins from their township office locations because residents are dumping trash in the bins or leaving a mess, which can blow onto neighboring properties.

For instance, in January, Jerry Wolford, a Cass Township trustee, made such a request about a recycling container located at the township hall, 2249 Hancock County 18. A minority of residents leave a mess, Wolford said, such as dumping soiled diapers and household trash.

He suggested the container be relocated to Legacy Farmers Cooperative on Hancock County 236 at Ohio 12, where the area is lit at night and has employees around a majority of each day.

Separately, a woman requested that the commissioners “clean the (Blanchard) river” rather than consider construction of floodwater detention ponds south of Mount Blanchard. Her family has farmed in the area for six generations, she said.

The commissioners gave a familiar response: Two maintenance projects have been done on the river since 2015 and another is being planned for 2018. Logjams have been removed from the river and trees have been removed from the river banks, Gazarek said, but it is an ongoing process.

Also, he said, the commissioners do not have the authority to decide flood-reduction projects. A panel of 15 judges, which oversees the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, Defiance, has the authority, he said.

Conservancy districts were formed following the 1913 flood and examples of completed projects are visible in Tiffin, Fremont and southern Ohio, he said.

The conservancy district hired Stantec, a Canadian engineering firm, to develop plans for Blanchard River flood reduction. The county receives statements from the district about funding the work being done by Stantec. The commissioners approved about $121,959 for the engineering company on Thursday.

The county is asking voters in November to renew a 0.25 percent sales tax that generates money for flood-reduction efforts. The tax, approved in 2009, generates about $3.5 million annually and has funded such items as the purchase of flood-prone or damaged properties and engineering costs.

The commissioners on Thursday approved the transfer of about $315,845 in sales tax revenue from the general fund to the flood-reduction fund. It was the September receipt of sales taxes from the state.

Also approved was the purchase of 448 Clinton Court, a property that contains no residence, only a garage. Cost is $9,000 for the property, owned by Michael J. and Judy S. Rozelle, according to the Hancock County auditor’s website. Sales tax funds will be used for the purchase.

Separately, a resolution to assess property owners on Wanda Way for street paving was approved by the commissioners. There are about eight residences on the street and property owners requested the project.

Separately, the commissioners approved an annexation request by Kristen M. Hoffman. She wants property at 3974 Ohio 613 in Pleasant Township annexed to the village of McComb. The latest request was filed June 1 and a public hearing was held Aug. 24.

The commissioners also approved a proclamation designating October as National Disability Employment Month, as requested by the board of developmental disabilities.

Separately, Dr. James Darrach, a chiropractor, was recently reappointed by the commissioners to a six-year term on the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library board. Darrach serves as board vice president.

A closed executive session was held by the commissioners to discuss threatened litigation, discipline and hiring of employees, and potential real estate acquisition. No action was taken.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
Send an E-mail to Jim Maurer



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