(WKBN) — The Coalburg Dam holds back the water of Coalburg Lake, which covers parts of Hubbard and Brookfield Townships.
Two years ago, an inspection by Ohio’s Division of Water Resources deemed the dam unsafe. That inspection led to a lawsuit filed last week in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. The lawsuit stated the dam “continues to pose a threat to life, health and property downstream.”
“Youngstown Sheet and Tube owned this property here, they bought it in the early 1900s,” said Hubbard Township trustee Rick Hernandez.
Hernandez said Sheet and Tube built the dam that created the lake to supply its blast furnace in Hubbard with water 105 years ago.
“The cost of repairing this dam, to my knowledge, is between $1.5 to $2 million,” Hernandez said.
The lawsuit filed against the dams’ owners, Coalburg Land Partners, claims the dam “could not contain a flood that may be expected from the most severe” weather conditions.
“If the dam gave way, downstream, we would have a very bad issue with wash away. There are a few homes down there, not as many as far as the homes are concerned. But there are the roads, there’s a lake down there. Another campground that has a lake,” Hernandez said.
There are homes on the lake, which today is used solely for recreation. Hubbard Township was in talks with Trumbull MetroParks to take it over.
“However, when the issue of the dam arose, the liability issues, they basically didn’t want to have any part of it, unfortunately,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez would love to see the dam repaired and the lake remains intact.
“In a perfect world, let’s keep it the way it is, and let’s just develop this land around here,” Hernandez said.