My husband and I attended a hearing for those who live in the watershed of the east and north branches of the Portage River. All the commissioners, three engineers from the three involved counties, and owners of real estate in Wood, Seneca and Hancock attended this hearing to determine if 46 miles of the Portage should be cleaned because every owner would be assessed for the cleaning if passed. The total was approximately $649,000.
The Wood County Engineer’s office had a slide show presentation of the log jams and wood debris in the river and any picture could have easily passed for the Blanchard River. It was of the opinion of the Wood County engineer that it would be beneficial to clean the river. Commissioner Robertson stated that cleaning the river is no different than preventative maintenance that businesses practice. After hearing testimony from citizens for and against the assessment, all nine commissioners voted in favor of cleaning the river.
Not everyone was happy, but the assessment is definitely a good plan.
My only questions are:
• Why did it take a citizen petition and 10 years to get this done?
• Why has this not been done for the Blanchard River?
• Do the citizens who own real estate in the Blanchard River watershed need to start a petition to have the Blanchard River cleaned?
• What entity or entities are holding up the cleaning of the Blanchard River?
We still have a year to go with the current levy request of 0.25 percent set aside for flood reduction. I will not vote in favor of the new levy until a plan is devised showing exactly how and where the money will be spent.
Linda Bishop, Findlay
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