NORTHFIELD CENTER — Township trustees decided recently to ask the Summit County engineer’s office to do a feasibility study for possible placement of two detention ponds on township property in the wooded area of Crestwood Park.

Trustees said the study is needed to determine whether the basins would relieve flooding on Crestwood Lane and the Marwyck-Dorwick area. "It’s necessary to make sure the ponds would be worthwhile," said Township Road Superintendent Rick Youel.

Trustee Paul Buescher explained the Crestwood Park and Marwyck-Dowick area is notorious for flooding, and the ponds could help alleviate some of the problems, which have lingered for many years.

"During heavy rains, the inlets for the county’s stormwater pipes along Olde Eight Road become outflows, which cause water to back up in roadside ditches and contribute to the flooding," he said. "We believe a detention pond or two would help alleviate some problems."

Buescher explained detention ponds are built to hold water for a limited period of time, while retention ponds hold water all the time.

In one of his newsletters sent out in 2017, Buescher said he believes the drainage issues in the Marwyck-Dorwick area go back several decades to the early years of community development.

"It has continued to amaze me over the years to see planners allowing homes and businesses to be built on flood plains along rivers, creeks, streams and other well-known flood prone areas," he said.

He admitted one of the sticking points is the Dorwick ditch, which he said "has been a problem since 1969 and is even referenced in meeting minutes going back to 1955."

Buescher pointed out that in 2016 resident Rick Patz turned in a ditch petition to the Summit County engineer’s office, putting up $600 of his own money and asking the county to maintain township stormwater ditches.

"That began a legal process which, if successful, would nudge the county engineer’s office to correct some of the flooding issues affecting residents in the Wicks area and beyond," Buescher explained. "It would, of course, come with a cost to residents via possible hefty assessments."

But Buescher said the petition is still in limbo at the county level, and he claims the reason could be the county engineer’s proposal last year for a countywide stormwater management program.

The township discussed opting in to the program late last year, but decided not to do so for the 2018 program year.

"The county’s proposed program would allow trustees to opt in, but not individual property owners," said Buescher. "If the township opts in, it would cost each homeowner $4 per month, with businesses assessed more depending on impervious surfaces such as roofs and parking lots."

Buescher said the residents and trustees know where the problems along the Dorwick ditch are located, and have discussed them numerous times, "but the issue seems to fall on deaf ears."

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com