ODNR requires tree removal at Lima Lake


First Posted: 6/18/2014

LIMA — Visitors to Lima Lake might notice a few trees missing at the path near the swimming beach.

Volunteers from Ford Motor Co. cleared out some of the trees from the banks of the old reservoir last month, said Kevin Haver, the director of the Johnny Appleseed Metro Park District.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources wants every tree removed around the banks but that simply is not going to happen, Haver said.

“I don’t have the manpower on staff to do that,” he said. “Taking a guess, it would probably cost $20 million to do what they want us to do. It’s not going to happen. We just can’t do it.”

The project was required as part of state requirements. The ODNR considers the banks a dam and writes a report every five years, Haver said.

“Where they find trees and perceive weaknesses on those dams they want it cleared off. From our standpoint, Lima Lake is not a threat,” Haver said.

Lima Lake does not hold enough water to flood the area and there’s not a nearby housing development.

The city of Lima abandoned the reservoir in 1955 after it built the Lost Creek Reservoir followed by two others. Lima Lake was built in 1902 and 1903 by hand and horses, Haver said.

Water was pumped in from deep wells that remain to this day near Lima Lake. It was Lima’s first above-ground reservoir, he said.

Lost Creek and the other nearby reservoirs are much taller and deeper, which uses gravity to push the water to the treatment plant, rather than having to pump it, Haver said.