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Residents express concerns for dam removal

WARREN TOWNSHIP — Township residents are concerned that the Leavittsburg Dam will be taken out before a sanitary sewer project is completed in the Meadowbrook area.

More than 20 residents attended the township trustees meeting Tuesday, with some indicating their concerns that septic will be exposed after the dam is removed and the Mahoning River level drops.

Trustee Chairman Ryan Yoho said while trustees are against the dam’s removal, it is not property of the township. He said local officials will do what they can to help the residents.

The dam is the property of the Trumbull County MetroParks, with officials indicating the dam will be removed likely in 2024. The Summit Street dam in Warren is scheduled to be removed before the Leavittsburg dam, officials have said.

Trustees said they are not sure of the exact demolition date but noted the Meadowbrooks project could break ground in late 2022 but not be completed until 2025 since it is in three phases.

Resident Terry Ambrose said Duck Creek behind her home off South Leavitt Road recently had sewage in the creek from behind Trumbull Correctional Institute when there was a sewage treatment issue with the local pump station.

“You can’t imagine what the creek looked like when this happened. The smell was awful,” she said.

She said the situation has been addressed and improved but there was a bad septic odor for days.

Ambrose said the concern with the creek would be a similar one for residents near the Mahoning River if the river level lowers after the dam’s removal and there is a sewage exposed from septic systems going into the water would also be an unpleasant odor.

Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer Gary Newbrough has said the $15 million sanitary sewer project is designed to help alleviate health concerns. It will be done in parts, with groundbreaking for the first phase scheduled for late 2022. It is expected to take a year to get a treatment plant built with the sewer line installation complete by 2025.

Newbrough said the project involves building a small wastewater treatment plant to service the Meadowbrook area near the Mahoning River falls.

Trumbull County health officials have said the sewers are needed to get rid of any sewer nuisances and problems in the area.

Many of the 412 homes in the area discharge sewage into the Mahoning River.

The Leavittsburg dam is one of 13 on the Mahoning River scheduled for removal.

Residents have said there is an environmental health issues with the septic situation along the Mahoning River if the river level drops after the dam is taken out. The systems are discharging straight into the river.

“We understands the residents’ concerns and will continue fighting for them,” Yoho said.

In other business, residents also asked trustees what can be done to improve roads, noting such road as Shady Road has many potholes.

Yoho said officials can check on Ohio Public Works Commission funds for 2023 but noted they require a local match.

Residents also asked about getting additional police officers. Trustees indicated they will see what COPS grants and other funding may be available for getting additional police officers.

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