Decision nearing on Wolf Creek
By JIM MAURER - TIFFIN -- The final hearing on the Wolf Creek maintenance project will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Public Safety Building at Seneca County Fairgrounds, Tiffin.
The Seneca County commissioners are expected to approve or deny a petition to clean the ditch from the Hammer-Heinsman subdivision on the eastern edge of Fostoria to the Seneca/Sandusky county line near Bettsville.
Residents can appeal their decision to Seneca County Common Pleas Court, Commissioner President Jeff Wagner said Tuesday.
Residents petitioned the commissioners for the maintenance work in May 2012. Work would include removal of leaning trees, logjams, and some sediment or sand bars.
If the commissioners approve, bids will be sought for the project.
County Engineer Mark Zimmerman updated the commissioners on the plan and the assessments Tuesday.
The project is being done for flood control, he said. The minimum assessment per parcel is $10 under state law, he said. Property owners within 500 feet of the drainage ditch would be assessed $25 per acre; from 500 to 1,000 feet, $15 per acre; and more than 1,000 feet, $3 per acre. A majority of the properties fall within the lowest assessment category, he said.
There also would be a 10 percent additional charge to create a fund for future maintenance of Wolf Creek, he said.
Most property owners would pay less than $100, he said.
Property owners who remove leaning trees from the bank and dispose of the wood would have their assessments reduced, Zimmerman said.
Assessments would be placed on real estate property tax bills, received twice annually, Zimmerman said. The payment period would be over three years, he suggested. The commissioners will decide next week on the payment schedule.
The commissioners would pay the bill, estimated at about $220,000, up front and be reimbursed as property owners pay their assessments.
Anyone who cannot attend the meeting next week can put comments in writing and submit them to the county commissioners' office.
The commissioners' regular meeting that day will be held at 1 p.m.
The assessment schedule is expected to be available online this week at the commissioners' website: www.seneca-county.com.
Separately, Commissioner Holly Stacy said the state Department of Transportation has contracted to have a safety study done on Ohio 53. Work is expected to begin Jan. 1. DLZ, a Toledo architect, engineer and surveyor firm, will do the study.
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