County, state, federal officials to discuss flooding

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Lawrence County Commission next week is expected to meet with the Wayne National Forest Ironton District ranger as well representatives of other government entities to discuss flooding in the Pine Creek area off State Route 93.

Last week commissioners agreed to send a letter to both the U.S. Forest Service and its federal-level elected officials, asking for assistance in reducing the flooding along Pine Creek.

Commissioner Jason Stephens noted the creek has not been maintained properly and there are beaver dams that obstruct water flow.

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At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Phil Roberts, who is the field representative for U.S. Sixth District Charlie Wilson, told the commission he had been in contact with Ironton District Ranger Tim Sloan. Sloan has agreed to attend the May 18 commission work session to discuss the issue of federally owned creeks.

Roberts said it has been suggested that representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Ohio Historical Preservation Society and the Dean State Forest should also attend the meeting because all of these agencies could play some role in solving the problem and may need to have input on it.

“That’s kind of the root of the problem, so many people have to approve such things,” Stephens agreed.

Commissioner Doug Malone said even a little maintenance could have a great impact on the problem.

“If they could just cut the brush away (from the sides of the creeks),” Malone said. “I know dredging is a big expense and it fills back up in a few years but if they could cut the brush and clear out the logjams.”

The commission usually meets in regular session on Thursdays and has an informal work session Tuesdays.

However, Thursday is Lawrence County’s annual legislative trip to Columbus. Government and business leaders will meet with state leaders to discuss Lawrence County’s primary issues of concern.

Therefore, the weekly regular session was moved.