The widening project on the Blanchard River near downtown Findlay has reached about three quarters of the way across the property which previously contained a tire dump, Steve Wilson, project manager for Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, told the Hancock County commissioners Tuesday.

The area, known as the Brandman property, is included in the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District’s $6.1 million river improvement project.

The river is being widened by cutting “benches” into the north riverbank for about 3,500 feet between the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge and Broad Avenue. The benches are meant to increase the river’s capacity during flooding situations.

During the work, about 1,500 tires, or 70 tons, have been removed and will be recycled, Wilson said. Tires found in the area will continue to be removed and recycled, he said.

As crews get down to “finish grade,” the state Environmental Protection Agency’s permit requires an additional two feet taken out and filled in with clean dirt, he said, which is being taken from another portion of the work area.

In a related matter, the commissioners approved a $27,540 bill from the conservancy district for payment to Stantec, the engineering company which developed the river “benching” plans.

A proclamation designating March as Developmental Disability Month was approved by the commissioners. The Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities requested the action to honor the programs offered to 600 individuals. The organization was established in 1952.

Also, the commissioners held an executive session to discuss personnel related to hiring; potential real estate acquisition; and personal related to discipline.

In the afternoon, the commissioners met with county Auditor Charity Rauschenberg about a municipal advisor to assist with financing upcoming projects such as a new building for probate/juvenile court and other county departments, and expansion of the county jail.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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