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Liberty planning on applying to Clean Ohio grant

Monday, August 19, 2019

Staff report


Township officials plan to apply for a Clean Ohio grant to preserve the Little Squaw Creek in Church Hill Park off Belmont Avenue.

Trustee Arnie Clebone said the township plans to partner with CT Consultants of Youngstown and Davey Resource Group, a Kent-based ecological consultant.

The grant requires a 25 percent local share. Officials won’t have the total cost of the project until they know how much of the grant is awarded, but preliminary costs, including consulting services, is estimated to be $20,000.

Due to “more frequent and heavier storms that have been occurring over the last few years,” Jeff Smith, senior engineer with CT Consultants, said the main culvert and some contributing streams have been redirected, causing more water flow through the creek and erosion on its banks, “which may have impacted the park facilities and amenities.”

“We would provide an in-stream riffle [segments of a stream where water flow is slowed by rocks] which is part of Davey’s plan, it would encourage water to slow down and for sediment to deposit,” Smith said. “A lot of the native species, like crayfish, every time you have a major storm event, they are all impacted by that and end up getting washed downstream as well as sediment and rock, and now the bottom of the creek bed is lower than it used to be.

“Basically, its restoring or maintaining some of that habitat for the native species that are down there,” he said.

The project’s first phase is concept design and cost estimating. The second would be preparing the grant application and the third would be securing permit documents that are needed.

The deadline for the grant is January.