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Reallocate grant funds from dam removal

DEAR EDITOR:

It was announced that Eastgate was to get $2 million for the dam removal. The media has a tendency to nudge this removal along.

In the first place $2 million will not cover the project, and those of us who have attended meetings on the dam removal have been told another much larger figure.

Second, the Leavittsburg area has some unique liabilities pertaining to this dam removal. These liabilities have to do with health and environmental issues that are related to septic systems in the area. Removing this dam will end up being a legal and financial responsibility. Who is going to pay for those liabilities? In addition, the cost of removing the sediment that contaminated the river, now encased in the river bed, is questionable. The area behind the dam is the only area scheduled for sediment removal. What about the rest of the river bed? Who is going to pay for that removal?

Third, hobbyists who enjoy canoeing or kayaking on the river do so now. Canoe City on North Leavitt Road provides those opportunities.

Last, economic development has been mentioned. Leavittsburg is partially in a flood plain. Try building a structure in a flood plain, especially with septic systems. So where and how are these hotels and businesses going to build according to health department standards? What Leavittsburg needs for economic development is this $2 million grant to be spent on affordable sewer and water lines. The dam will eventually erode itself.

This dam removal project by Eastgate seems excessive for our needs in this area. The crime victim program in Trumbull County has been cut $11,000. Additional taxes have been placed on our gasoline for road repair. Schools, townships, police departments, and fire departments have all had their funds cut. And yet, the state grants millions of dollars for dam removals. I understand it is a grant, but where do you think grant money is obtained? Taxpayers.

It seems to me the money could be better allocated so economic development could truly proceed.

NANCY E. KUJALA

Braceville

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