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Officials seek restoration of Coalburg Lake dam

Brookfield, Hubbard townships hope to avoid Kinsman situation

Officials from Brookfield and Hubbard townships want to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the Coalburg Lake dam and property to have it inspected to avoid any situation like the one in Kinsman last summer.

Already, Brookfield trustees have met with state Rep. Gil Blair, D-Weathersfield, to inquire about what grants and / or state funds might be available to inspect and then repair the dam.

The 356-acre Coalburg Lake property is on Wick Campbell Road on the border of Brookfield and Hubbard townships, with most of the property in Brookfield.

Repairs to the dam are estimated to cost $1.5 million, according to Brookfield Trustee Gary Lees. If the dam were removed, he said, the area could face flooding issues.

It was July when heavy rain filled Kinsman Lake, causing it to breach the dam. Water washed out a section of Lakeview Drive and bridge that leads to about 30 homes of the Lakelands development. The residents were dislocated for about three months until a new access road was completed in October.

Repairs cost about $1.8 million.

Lees said the lake kept in by the Coalburg Dam is much bigger than the one in Kinsman, and officials from both communities are concerned because the Coalburg Dam is much older.

“The dam does need repaired. We are concerned if something happened of the damage that can be done both there and down stream. We just want to be safe and not have something like what happened in Kinsman happen here,” Lees said.

Zachary Svette, executive director of Trumbull County MetroParks, said the agency applied for state grants to buy the 356 acres plus the 80-acre land with the dam, but decided against it over concerns of liability and insurance issues with the dam.

Officials have said Youngstown Sheet and Tube acquired the Coalburg property in 1912, creating the dam and lake to use the water in its steelmaking process. The company also used the property for picnics and other recreational functions.

The property was sold to an energy company in the mid-1980s after Youngstown Sheet and Tube closed its doors. No work or development was done on the property during that time, according to Svette.

Lees has said he also wants the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to monitor the dam for the safety of the residents living near it.

Lees said the township also is seeking funds with Blair’s help to have the Yankee Run Creek area checked since there has been flooding issues. He said the creek flows near the sanitary sewer plant and residential areas.

Lees said in 2004 the creek had major flooding, including causing damage at the plant.

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