Project group to be formed in Chippewa Creek region

September 4, 2008

An eight-member advisory group will give advice and guidance for maintenance and improvements in the Chippewa Creek Watershed region to the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District's (MWCD) chief engineer.

The MWCD Board of Directors recently agreed to a proposal from MWCD Chief Engineer Boris Slogar to create the project advisory committee for the Chippewa Subdistrict region in northern Wayne and southern Medina counties. Slogar said the advisory committee will assist MWCD staff in identification and prioritization of the needed maintenance and conservation improvements in the watershed.

"We are aware of many of the needs that exist in the subdistrict and have been working on them from a plan that was created several years ago," Slogar said. "But we also are aware that priorities can change periodically and believe that the subdistrict will benefit greatly from having the input of these people to assist us."

The Chippewa Creek Watershed includes a flood-reduction system of eight small dams and 33 miles of channel improvements. The MWCD serves as the business agent for the subdistrict, which was formed in 1970 from a request of property owners in the region.

Slogar said the volunteer Citizens Task Force that currently meets on a periodic basis has been a valuable resource for the MWCD in reaching some of the goals upon the original creation of the subdistrict, including the reduction of flooding and sediment deposits, and improving water quality. The Citizens Task Force will continue to meet and discuss the subdistrict.

Maintenance work in the subdistrict is funded through an assessment of property owners as provided for in the Ohio law that governs conservancy districts. The Chippewa Creek Watershed covers about 188 square miles in Medina and Wayne counties, as well as trace amounts of property in Stark and Summit counties, and assessment dollars can be used solely in the subdistrict region according to law.

The dams were constructed and other improvements along the creek were made following years of flooding along Chippewa Creek, which also consistently produced log jams and other restrictions. By 1960 a work plan was completed and 10 years later the subdistrict officially was formed to carry out construction and operation. Besides the MWCD, the other original sponsors for the improvements included the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Medina and Wayne County commissioners and the Soil and Water Conservation District offices in Medina and Wayne counties.

Slogar said present maintenance needs of the dams and channel improvements include, but are not limited to:

• Tree and brush removal
• Slip repairs
• Debris removal
• Hydraulic structure repairs and upgrades
• Monitor/remove sedimentation
• Ongoing maintenance

After a review of dams, reservoirs and maintenance, along with inspection of the channel work is completed this year, Slogar said numerous projects will be identified and prioritized with construction beginning in 2009.

Slogar said that residents and property owners with questions about the Chippewa Subdistrict or the Chippewa Creek Watershed can contact Deborah Russell, the watershed project coordinator, at (330) 722-9382. The Chippewa Subdistrict maintains an office in the Medina County Park District complex at 6364 Deerview Ln., Medina.

Darrin Lautenschleger
Public Information Administrator
Toll-free: (877) 363-8500


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