Water continues to be hot topic in Richwood


The last several council meetings have had numerous residents within the village questioning solons about the continued flooding in Richwood.

Many questions have been raised, so Mayor Scott Jerew invited Union County Commissioners Steve Stolte and Charles Hall, State Representative Tracy Richardson of House District 86, Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Director of Agriculture, Jeff Stauch, Union County Engineer and Jeremy Burrey with Union Soil and Water Conservation District, to hear council’s concerns and ask them for their support regarding the village flooding.

Pelanda began the dialogue by giving Jerew a list of state and federal agencies to contact for grants to find help with resources for flooding issues. She also stated that she would continue to help the village in solving problems.

Stauch stated that first, the village needs to identify the problems regarding Ottawa Ditch, Ash Run and Fulton Creek. After a storm, they have determined where the water flows to get out of the village. In some instances, they have found broken clay tile that needs replaced, or that there are blockages along the way and the water is not flowing. One of the biggest problems is with Fulton Creek.

It seems that beavers have dammed up some areas of Fulton Creek and there may be some log jams, slowing down the flow of the water, stated Burrey. He said that the soil and water district could assist in locating areas of need. It was also mentioned that there are regulations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the removal of trees, and changing the banks and removing brush. Burrey continued by saying that if a group of property owners who have land running along the creek, they can remove fallen trees in the water which are causing log jams, but should probably check with Union County Soil and Water or the Engineer’s Office before they begin work, to make sure they understand their options.

Council has heard many comments regarding the removal of trees in the tree lawn on South Franklin Street. The trees are part of the ODOT Lighting Project that they are funding. New street lamps will be installed from South to North Franklin Street and will be installed in the village’s right-of-way. 

Craig Mescher of Access Engineering told council that once the trees have been removed and stumps ground up, ODOT will be boring the ground for pole installation. ODOT has not notified Mescher of the impending date of installation, but it hopefully will begin soon. 

When Phase II of the Franklin Street Project begins, which will be the south end of Franklin Street, the street will be dug up, new water, sewer and storm lines will be installed, and curbs, sidewalks and pavement will be included. By adding two additional feet on either side of the street, the width will be 30 feet from curb to curb. 

Some residents have been concerned about the replanting of trees along the street. Council said that a tree committee will be established and they will determine where the trees will be planted and which type of trees will be best suited for the environment.

Currently, council has concerns regarding willow trees that are planted within the village. They are notorious for getting into water lines and destroying the tiles. Also, with planting trees near the sidewalks, roots will raise and crack the new sidewalks, causing more damage, so council really wants to take all information available and decide what is best.

North Franklin Street residents recently received a letter from Monte Asher, village administrator, regarding progress on their street. Beginning July 25 through Aug. 19, the concrete driveway approaches and curbs will be poured, which curbing could be installed in two days. It may take a week or so to get all the driveway approaches installed. Asher is asking residents to park between 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the high school parking lot or at the new parking lot near the girl’s ball diamond while the concrete work is being installed. After 5 p.m., residents will be able to park on the street in front of their property. If your vehicle is parked on the street during working hours, you may be asked to move it. If you are elderly or handicapped, call the village office at 740-943-3315 and make arrangements. 

The hope is that by mid-August, N. Franklin Street will be paved and phase 1 will be near completion. 

In other business, council;

-Was asked by Tom Myers, president of the Mid Ohio Antique Farm Machinery Show, if the group can hold a parade through town this Friday while their show is going on this weekend at the Richwood Fairgrounds. Council approved the request. The parade will begin at the village administration building and end at Gill Street into the fairgrounds.

-Heard from Mayor Jerew that the new shelter house has been ordered. All In One Construction will build/install the shelter house and Jordan Concrete will lay the concrete needs for the project.

-Council approved the third readings regarding the request for levies to be placed on the November ballot, the resolution to Ohio Public Works Commission Funding for Franklin Street Reconstruction Project Phase II, and the refund of earnest monies from Agri Med.

-Heard that village crews are 90% done with storm clean-up and chipped brush for four days and hauled 38 dump truck loads of trees and limbs.

-Was told that Craig Mescher will address the drainage problem of S. Clinton and Herbert Street to be addressed with the S. Franklin Street project.

*Heard that panel interviews will be held this evening with the top six applicants for the part-time park position.

Council’s next meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.

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