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Coventry trustees consider remedy for ‘cat swamp’

5/15/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

An area of the Portage Lakes known locally as the “cat swamp” can be an eyesore due to an overgrowth of algae each summer, said Coventry Zoning Inspector George Beckham to the Coventry Board of Trustees at the May 8 meeting.

The “cat swamp,” near the East Reservoir, is weed infested, shallow and often green due to algae, he said.

Board President David Calderone agreed the site, located across from Biggins’ Big Dip, is viewed by motorists of Portage Lakes Drive and could reflect negatively on the Portage Lakes area as a whole.

Beckham suggested the township spray the “cat swamp” three times this summer to combat the algae.

The zoning inspector said he conducted some research and discovered AQUA DOC Lake & Pond Management could spray the area three times this summer for a total cost of $3,000.

Beckham added the state is willing to pay for 50 percent of the total cost this year.

The trustees questioned what they would do next year should the state only contribute to the cost this year, as the look of the “cat swamp” is an ongoing problem.

Calderone said he also is uncomfortable with putting chemicals into the area, which is located in close proximity to several homes.

Trustee Edward Diebold added other portions of the Portage Lakes could need to be sprayed, as well, and the township could not afford to address all the areas that have algae.

Beckham said the board could consider installing a fountain in the “cat swamp” to keep the water cleaner.

“I am not a fan of chemicals in the lake,” Calderone said. “I am a bigger fan of the fountain.”

Diebold said a fountain also could require a great deal of maintenance with funds not currently available.

He suggested the township seek grant money for a beautification project for the “cat swamp.”

The board did not come to a decision on the matter. Calderone said the topic will be considered again at next month’s meeting to see if anything can be done to make the area more attractive for the boating season.

“This may just have to be a lost year,” he said.

Also during the meeting, Calderone announced the board and administration now are holding special workshops to consider future ballot issues for the township, as the current township budget is tight. One of the levies being considered would raise money for parks and recreation in the township, Calderone said. He said this levy specifically could help maintain the township’s softball, baseball and soccer fields. Calderone has said the township also could need to come up with more funding for policing services.

Additionally during the meeting, the board:

  • approved contracting with Enviroscapes for the mowing of vacant properties in the township this year for an amount not to exceed $3,000;
  • announced that an approximate $9,600 grant through Summit ReWorks will be used for four yard waste and leaf drop-off events in the township this year;
  • agreed to purchase 800 tons of paving and patching materials from Tallmadge Asphalt at $59 per ton for this year’s road repair program in the township;
  • agreed to allow sport tournaments and similar activities to begin no sooner than 9 a.m. in the township;
  • discussed a large addition to be added to the Gardner Pie Co. on Logan Parkway and the likely demolition of the vacant White Rhino at 430 Portage Lakes Road; and
  • announced meetings were taking place with the owners of venues in the township that have outside entertainment during the summer to ensure too many noise issues do not arise this year.

The board’s next meeting is set for June 12 at 7 p.m. at Coventry Town Hall, 68 Portage Lakes Drive. The board will conduct a workshop beginning at 6 p.m.

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