The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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 Depending on water levels, a project to clear Toussaint Creek in Wood, Sandusky and Ottawa counties will start by early summer, according to the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District.

 The project will include removing log jams and leaning trees from an approximately 34-mile stretch of the creek.  Mike Libben, program administrator for the Ottawa SWCD, said he’s had a pre-construction meeting with the contractor, D&M Earthmoving, Wakeman, O., and SWCD technicians have been marking trees and log jams.

 “They’ve been dealing with high water issues so we’re waiting on things to back off a little,” he said.

 A joint board of commissioners from the three counties awarded a contract bid earlier this year to D&M, which submitted the lowest of 11 bids for the construction portion of the project: $389,896.  Libben said the project also has approximately $208,000 in legal, engineering, administrative and contingency costs.

 “The plan will be to start at the eastern end in Ottawa County and then work west,” he said. “But that could be dependent on weather conditions or anything they might encounter along the way. We have an April 30, 2018 completion date set, but the contractor has high hopes it will be completed before then.”  

Land owners with property that will benefit from the clearing were sent payment notices last September. The minimum amount is $25 per parcel and increases on a graduating scale.  The joint board of commissioners agreed to implement the collection of the lower assessments to fund the initial stages of the project. Land owners who will owe more than $100 per parcel have the option of paying up front or having the assessments put on their property taxes for up to five years.

 The Toussaint’s watershed covers more than 47,000 acres.

 Technicians from soil and water conservation districts in the three counties walked the stretch of the creek during the winter of 2014-15 and identified more than 200 log jams and about 6,000 dead trees.  Since then, staffers have identified many more dead trees than originally recorded, Libben said.   

 

 

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