BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Within days after last May’s flooding, Boardman residents demanded something to be done, saying flooding was happening too frequently and there had to be ways to control it.
Nine months have passed since the heavy rain flooded Boardman between Route 224 and Shields Road. Progress has been made on a plan, but nothing is final just yet.
To start, a $5.5 million project is planned for Cranberry Run next to Forest Lawn Cemetery. There is an old dam that holds back water that needs to be removed, plus the entire channel needs to be cleaned.
Across the street, behind the now-closed Market Street School, $1.5 million will go toward what’s being called a “stormwater park” in the Cranberry Run area.
The $7 million for both projects will hopefully come from Ohio’s soon-to-be-released capital improvements budget.
“All of that kind of going on at once is a lot of things happening, but it’s been very methodical,” said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree.
Loree is also part of the ABC Water District, which is administering Boardman’s flood plan, another major part of which is removing existing houses. He’s hoping Ohio’s emergency management agency can pay for that, too.
“We’ve got about eight total. Once it gets approved, we’ll be able to take those houses down, working with the property owner, and then allow that flood plan to engage, having some more storage and capacity where it’s really needed,” he said.
Loree says the state will pay for 88% of removing the homes while the ABC Water District will be responsible for 12%.
Another part of the plan includes up to $100,000 from the Army Corps of Engineers, to help with some of the hydrological analysis.
“That includes field teams going out, walking through the watercourses. So they’re doing that through this month, next month and all through the summer to literally do a person surveying all of the embankments and really catalog what’s there,” Loree said.
Loree is also hoping for an Ohio EPA grant of between $500,000 and $1 million to help with possible project costs.
The Boardman School Board has not yet agreed to the stormwater park. Loree says members are waiting to see if the money is there.