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Bath trustees approve wetlands preservation project

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Julia Kazar

At the Bath Board of Trustees meeting Oct. 21, trustees approved and signed a wetland and stream mitigation agreement with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2-0, with Trustee James Nelson not present.

The agreement, which Assistant Service Director/Park Director Michael Rorar explained is part of an ongoing project, will allow for the restoration of Tamarack Bog.

According to Rorar, the bog has been in existence since at least 1912, when it was mentioned in a scientific study looking at “peat rich” areas. In 1951, the bog was studied more in-depth and was found to be 13.8 acres. Just eight years later in 1969, the bog was examined again and had shrunk to 4.9 acres. Wetlands like these have disappeared all over the country over the years through processes such as draining, he said.

Rorar said in 1998, the township first considered the idea of restoring the bog. Nothing really came about from that idea, however, until in 2001, the idea was brought up again and studies were conducted that determined it would be feasible to do. In 2005, the restoration project officially began. In 2007, workers removed European Buckthorn, an invasive shrub found throughout Ohio and other parts of the country that had taken over the bog. In 2013, the project really got going and several things happened, he said. Red maples were removed, another species that is not native to bogs, and Rorar contacted the Ohio EPA, and together they created a contract to restore the wetlands.

The contract will cost $292,000, all of which is funded by the EPA. According to Rorar, $87,000 will be provided to The University of Akron for research and monitoring of the bog, and $87,000 will be provided to Bath to cover past expenses and more restoration work in the future.

Rorar said that $12,000 of the funds for Bath will go toward reimbursement, $22,000 will go toward a conservation easement and $52,000 will go toward building a boardwalk through the bog so local residents and visitors can enjoy the nature that the site has to offer.

“I just want to take a moment to thank you for all your hard work on this project,” said Trustee Elaina Goodrich. “I think this will be a great thing for our community.”

“Anytime we can have something like this for our township, and not have to pay anything, I’m all for that,” added Trustee Becky Corbett.

“No matter what happens with this project,” Rorar said, “it [the bog] will be better off tomorrow than it is today.”

In other business, trustees approved:

  • a resolution to amend the 2013 Certificate of Estimated Resources and the 2013 permanent appropriations funds to add an additional $3,000 to each fund, which was the result of a grant received by Fire Chief Walter Hower for state fire marshal training, with a vote of 2-0;
  • a motion to remove part-time communications specialist Lauren Brogan from probationary status retroactive to Oct. 1 and increase her hourly rate to $19.18, with a vote of 2-0; and
  • a motion to pay P.S. Construction Fabrics Inc. in the amount of $8,213 for the crack sealing of five roadways in Bath: Stillwood Spur, Willow Lane, Stonegate Boulevard and Reserve and North Ridge drives, with a vote of 2-0.

The board’s next meeting will be Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the trustees’ meeting room of the Bath Administration Building, located at 3864 W. Bath Road.

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