The Hancock Park District board on Tuesday held off on approval of plans for a stormwater drainage easement at Oakwoods Nature Preserve.

Dan Stone, principal with VanHorn, Hoover and Associates, architects and engineers, updated the board on the proposed change in plans.

Without the changes, the nearby Best Liberty Addition Overflow Ditch Plan will not be approved by the county. The subdivision plan was developed to alleviate high water in the residential housing development. The issue has been discussed for several years.

The subdivision regulations were updated by the county commissioners before the plans were submitted to county Engineer Doug Cade in early December. Plans for the storm drainage easement ending at the south boundary of the Gateway Church property on Hancock County 9 were not approved by the county engineer.

“We will not approve the outlet of the storm water onto another property without the appropriate easement,” according to the letter.

Stone said the plan was for a swale and berm constructed along park district property and down to the creek (Aurand Run).

But the new regulations require storm water to be in a ditch, he said; it can’t dissipated onto property. The revised plan calls for construction of a raised access drive with four, 36-inch wide drainage pipes installed underneath, Stone said.

With plans for the construction of the wetlands north of Oakwoods, the park board questioned why the storm water couldn’t be diverted onto that property to dissipate.

In November, the board approved a motion which would allow water from a nearby drainage ditch to flow onto the nature preserve property.

The park board also organized for the year with Gary Hirschfeld named chairman and Ed Ingold vice chairman. Scott Younger, vice chairman, will serve as park district board member on the Hancock Parks Foundation Board of Trustees.

The board will continue to meet at 3:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday monthly this year.

The annual list of 2019 gifts, grants and donations, required to be submitted to Hancock County Probate Court, was approved by the board. The list included more than $284,355 with a majority, more than $236,000 provided by the parks foundation for the design and construction of Shelter 2 and Shelter 4 at Riverbend Recreation Area. Shelter 2 is completed and Shelter 4 work continues.

Also, the parks foundation held its annual meeting after the park board’s meeting and organized for the year. The eight-person board elected Rick Kidwell as president; Cameron Williams, vice president; Carol Jastal, secretary; and Linda Casey, treasurer. Lisa McClain replaced Heather Pendleton on the board.

Donations of more than $438,481 and expenses of more than $279,391 for 2019 were approved by the foundation board, with a majority of the funds for planning, design and construction of the two park shelters.

The board will meet every other month at 7:30 a.m. in the Discovery Center beginning March 4. Other dates this year include: May 6, July 1, Sept. 2 and Nov. 4.

Maurer: 419-427-8420

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