State infrastructure funds will help revitalize Meander Dam for cleaner water

Local News

MINERAL RIDGE, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday, the state of Ohio announced a number of infrastructure projects around the state — $93 million will be spent on water and wastewater projects. Some of that money is coming to the Valley.

The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD) is looking for funds to revitalize the Meander Dam, which is more than 94 years old and in need of some repairs. So, the state gave a grant for $500,000 to put toward the rehabilitation of it in Weathersfield Township.

“We believe strongly in clean water initiatives. Projects like this in the Mahoning Valley are great examples of where we can really increase the quality of life for Ohio residents,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development.

Officials are looking to make upgrades to the dam that total about $40 million.

Part of the Meander Reservoir provides water to more than 200,000 people in the region.

“We are in the process of renovating and updating the standards of the dam to make sure it can withstand a probable maximum flood. That is to ensure the dam will be here for another 100 years,” said Mike McNinch, chief engineer for the MVSD.

The project will construct a new auxiliary spillway and install anchors into the dam foundation, flatten downstream embankments, support upgrades to electric service and lighting, and replace east and west dam access roads.

“Right now, we’re not in any dire danger but we know that through the years, the dam has deteriorated some and that we do need to do some work on it and we also want to make sure we keep the cost of the water, you know, as low as we possibly can,” said Germaine Bennett, president of the board/director of the MVSD.

The MVSD plans to apply for a $30 million FEMA grant to pay for the bulk of the project.

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