Geauga Park District considers dam safety and easement

Chagrin Valley Times
by Krista S. Kano
October 11, 2018

The Geauga Park District board currently is determining the cost for a safety and engineering plan of a Chardon dam it partially owns and is in discussions about an easement that would give 35 Chester residents access to natural gas.

Executive Director John Oros informed park commissioners of the two issues at the board’s meeting on Tuesday. Board President Andrej Lah was not present.

In a letter sent to Mr. Oros, Giselle R. Felice, business development manager of Orwell Natural Gas Co., wrote, “On behalf of the approximately 35 residents of Shadow Hill Estates in Chesterland including Woodchuck Hollow, Maple Leaf Trail and Shadow Hill Trail, the residents are looking to enjoy the benefits of natural gas. In order for that to happen for the residents of Shadow Hill Estate, Orwell Natural Gas will need to acquire an easement from the Geauga Park District.”

The easement would be on the district’s Haymire property, a currently undeveloped 33-acre property on Wilson Mills Road, just west of Heath Road in Chester.

According to Ms. Felice, Dominion East Ohio is willing to work with Orwell by offering a natural gas tap off of the existing Dominion East Ohio mainline on Wilson Mills. The easement would consist of a 20-by-20 foot lot, along with an access drive off Wilson Mills at least 60 feet off the road right of way. Dominion East Ohio would construct the meter station within the easement, and Orwell would run its pipeline into the road right of way on Wilson Mills Road, extending to Heath Road and into Shadow Hill Estates.

Ms. Felice continued that Orwell would take care of applying for all necessary permits and will have a certified surveying company draw up necessary documents for the Geauga County Recorder.

“They are looking to start spending some money and have a surveyor. We need the survey for the easement and that would to you for a motion,” Mr. Oros said. Hearing no objections or hesitancies from the park commissioners, Mr. Oros said “I’ll let them know to proceed and get a survey so we have a sense of what the easement looks like.”

The section matter Mr. Oros discussed was the Locey Dam, a small body of water near Industrial Parkway off 5th Avenue in Chardon. The district owns 16 percent of the dam, which is just off Maple Highland Trail.

“This dam has implications to be managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety, so moving forward, ODNR is expecting a dam safety and engineering plan and we don’t have one yet,” Mr. Oros said. He said that the district’s other lake properties including Walter C. Mills Preserve and Bear Town Lakes already have those plans.

He explained that they are currently in discussions about sharing the cost of the safety and engineering plan with the other co-owners.

“With the help of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, we’ve gone out for requests for proposals for what it might cost to develop a dam safety and engineering plan through ODNR, and we’re beginning to start talks,” Mr. Oros said. “The reason I mention this to you now is because inevitably, this will mean spending money on this plan and the corresponding engineering plan, so I’m going to bring legal into the loop and see how this proceeds.”

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