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Millersburg residents seek help to reroute water from creek

By KEVIN LYNCH Staff Writer Published: April 22, 2017 5:00 AM
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MILLERSBURG -- Longtime village resident Gary Asche and his wife, Cindy, came to council asking the village for help with a problem concerning water running from a culvert under state Route 83 (Wooster Road) through their backyard.

Asche is a retired teacher in the West Holmes District who has lived at 814 Wooster Road for 33 years. He said there has been problems in the past but never as much as this spring.

"I'm asking for help to maintain it because the water is washing away the banks, and there is a huge walnut tree, that if it goes, it'll take (his neighbor) Nina Lanning's house out permanently, and there's a cherry tree that is on my property, that could also go," he said. "We also have kids that cross between our house and Village Motors, using it as a shortcut. When I maintain the ravine, I wear spikes to stay up, and sometimes I'll slide down into the creek. And if these kids see a floating bridge they can walk across, I'd hate to see one of those kids falling in there.

"I was hoping the village would help because the water is coming from the culvert under 83 there," Asche continued. "I know you said it was a storm sewage, but it's blocked up and with Village Motors' help and your help, we could take care of it. It proposes a danger."

Cindy Asche noted that the sewage drain is no longer functional because it is plugged somewhere along the line.

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"If it's not fixed, then it should be rerouted somewhere else because it'a no longer serving the purpose it's supposed to be," she said. "If a child were to drop in there, and knowing how quick that water goes down, we know there's a suction. God help us all if a child goes in there."

Gary Asche added there's also a picnic area on the other bank of the creek, but said it would take about 100 picnics to burn all the sticks and debris that washes up from the creek.

Village Administrator Nate Troyer noted that the line crosses through Asche's backyard into and under Village Motors.

"The day I was out there, it was flooding a bit, but there was a decent flow," Troyer said. "Obviously, something released to let all that water out overnight. I have no idea what, if we were to go down there and see a big pile of something."

Troyer said Cline's Plumbing was out there with its jet pack, but couldn't get it in at either end to see what was causing the issue.

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"There is obviously a plug somewhere under Village Motors parking lot between the culvert and the outlet," Troyer said.

They had a sinkhole in the parking lot that has been fixed.

The area behind the car dealership used to be a dumping area, and many years ago, a bumper of an old car came up through the mud.

Troyer noted that the village can't just go in and start ripping it up, but recognizes there is a problem that needs fixed.

Asche asked if the water from the culvert could be rerouted and the ravine be filled in, since it doesn't function as a normal sewage drain.

Councilman Bob Shoemaker stopped to check on the situation, and said "it was just a lake."

Asche said he is amazed by all the garbage he has found floating in the ravine that people just freely toss down there without thinking about it.

Pat Mellor of the village said abandoning the smaller pipe might help, but then they'd have to figure out how to tie it in at the other end of the culvert, that's about 35 feet deep.

"The 24-inch pipe in there probably wasn't designed for that depth, and they should probably have used pipe twice that size in the first place," Mellor said.

He added that it would take a lot of very large pipe to reroute the water 200 yards to the next culvert on state Route 83.

Troyer said he doesn't see a quick fix for the problem, and he also sees a potentially large price tag for the project.

"My suspicion is the pipe is crushed and there is nowhere for the water to flow," Troyer said. "If it's letting some water through, it's obviously not working. So I'm guessing the pipe's failed."

The problem Troyer sees is, that it has failed on Village Motors' property. We can't just go in and start digging it up. But, something has to be done."

"I'll bet there's not one person in this whole room who wants the village's water running through their backyard," Cindy Asche added.

Troyer said he will wait until he hears from Village Motors and start getting some ideas on costs for potential projects.

Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or klynch@the-daily-record.com.


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