Toledo City Council swears in two new and one returning councilor – also gives green light to pursue funding for new pedestrian/bike path – and a problem at Mill Creek Dam reported
Three city councilors were sworn into office Wednesday evening at the beginning of the first Toledo City Council meeting of the new year. New City Councilors Alma Baxter and Jackie Kauffman were given their oath of office as was returning City Councilor Jill Lyon.
Councilors immediately got busy on the agenda that included council approval for Public Works Director Adam Denlinger to apply for a state grant to provide a pedestrian and bicycle path that connects East Slope Road to Butler Bridge Road and Fir Streets. If the grant is approved, the pathway will connect the east side of Toledo to the main downtown area and to the city waterfront. Denlinger said the pathway will go a long way to fixing a number of connectivity issues the city has had for many years.
Denlinger also briefed the council on a major flooding event at the city’s Mill Creek Reservoir. Denlinger was quick to emphasize that the flood event at the city’s secondary source of drinking water and the dam that keeps it there did not weaken the dam or cause any chance that the dam might fail. But he did say that the repairs now going on at the dam are aimed to ensuring the problem doesn’t threaten the dam’s strength and safety down the road.
Denlinger said four inches of rain falling in a single 24 hour period nearly two weeks ago caused two slides along the access road to the base of the Mill Creek Dam. The water-logged ground just above the road caused a slump out which covered the ditch that normally channels storm downhill and into Mill Creek. Instead, a small mudslide diverted the stormwater from its ditch, directing it onto the road surface. The water then ran down the road and cascaded over an edge that caused another, more serious slump, that threatened the base of the dam’s fish later facility.
Denlinger says crews have been working feverishly to restore the contour uphill from the fish ladder and to strengthen roadside areas. He said the work will help prevent a similar thing from happening again during any prolonged downpour.
Denlinger stressed that the incident has not weakened the dam, but if left unrepaired for an extended period of time, it might. He estimated the cost of the repairs at around $45,000, some of which he hopes will be picked up by the city’s insurance carrier. Denlinger added that a high level structural engineer will be visiting the dam this week to confirm the preliminary assessment that’s already been made on the situation. The Mill Creek Dam was built in the 1960s.