Stormwater follows topography, not jurisdictional boundaries, which is why the City of Kent, the City of Stow, and the Franklin Township are working together to improve flooding problems and water quality in the Fishcreek basin. This regional effort is being performed thru a small working group who have had a couple of public meetings. I’ve provided copies of the initial letter announcing the group and the meeting minutes from that first meeting. They’re planning the next meeting for mid-August so if you’re interested in attending let me know.
Over the years the City of Kent has received numerous complaints about the flooding and water quality of Fish Creek. Kent City Council has asked the City of Kent Service Department to work with the communities of Stow and Franklin Township to address these problems by developing a Watershed Action Plan. In addition to the City of Stow and Franklin Township we have also requested the participation of local interest groups and private citizens.
Development of a Watershed Action Plan is in keeping with National Permit Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Stormwater Regulations. Under the Phase II Stormwater Program, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System ( MS4s) Operators are required to develop a Storm Water Management Plan that addresses public education, outreach, and public involvement/participation.
Our first meeting to discuss issues relating to Fish Creek and the development of a Watershed Action Plan will be held Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 3:00p.m. in the conference room of the City of Kent’s Service Administration Complex located at 930 Overholt Road. Your attendance at this meeting would be greatly appreciated.
Eugene K. Roberts
First Meeting Agenda
WATERSHED ACTION PLAN
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
1st Floor Conference Room
Service Administration Complex
930 Overholt Road
Kent , Ohio 44240
I. Introduction of members
II. Purpose of meeting
III. Fish Creek – Issues and Problems to be addressed
IV. Current Projects or Activities V. Identification of additional participants that would be of value to watershed plan
VI. Presentation by NEFCO on elements of a watershed plan
VII. Next meeting agenda items and date
First Meeting Minutes
An organizational meeting to discuss issues relating to Fish Creek and the development of a Watershed Action Plan was held in the conference room of the City of Kent’s Service Administration Complex located at 930 Overholt Road, Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 3:00P.M.
Keith Benjamin, Franklin Twp. Trustee
Gary Falstad, Franklin Twp. Trustee
Claude Custer, NEFCO
Jessica Hickey, Davey Resource Group
Christine Craycroft, Portage Park District
Brad Kosco, City of Stow, Engineering Dept
Matt Hammer, Resident-City of Stow
Beth Schoonover, Resident-City of Kent
Lloyd Atkinson, Resident-City of Kent
Bill Schultz, Kent City Council
Wayne Wilson, Kent City Council
Carrie Gavriloff, Kent City Council
Edward Bargerstock, Kent City Council
Jerry Gubanich, City of Kent Stormwater Consultant
Gene Roberts, City of Kent, Service Director
Sheri Chestnutwood, City of Kent, Administrative Assistant
Introduction of members
Those in attendance introduced themselves, and filled out contact information on the sign up sheet provided.
Purpose of meeting
Discuss the creation of a Watershed Action Committee and Plan for the Fish Creek Watershed.
Presentation by NEFCO on elements of a watershed plan
Claude Custer, Water Quality Planner with NEFCO gave a power-point presentation about the benefits of watershed planning.
Mr. Custer defined a watershed as an area that drains to a common waterway, includes both surface and ground water.
Mr. Custer explained that watershed action plans are created to protect and restore water quality.
The steps involved in creating a plan include:
Implement & Evaluate
Build Public Support
Create Inventory of watershed
Set goals and develop solutions
Through the power point presentation Mr. Custer explained in further detail the nuts and bolts of watershed management.
1. Build Public Support
· Description of watershed
· Water Quality
· Previous & Complimentary Efforts
3. Define Problems and Watershed Impairments
· Source vs Land
· Problem Statements
4. Set Restoration-Protection Goals
· Develop solutions and create action plan that includes measurable goals, technical solutions, determine funding needs to achieve goals
· Educate & Inform
· Set criteria
· Create plan to track progress
· Highlight successful activities
· Establish monitoring
7. Update Plan & Revise
· Every 2 to 5 years
· Include evaluation
Mr. Custer stressed the importance of writing the action plan as if writing a grant application and offered the “Yellow Creek Watershed Action Plan” as an example.
Through the power-point presentation Mr. Custer went over the plan format.
(Include a mission statement)
(Specific to achieving goals)
Mr. Custer displayed the “Yellow Creek Watershed Action Plan” in a table format that he had been involved with. As a result of the Yellow Creek Plan a Stormwater Coalition was formed and funding was received.
Mr. Custer said the process of forming a watershed action plan follows the same steps as many grant applications thus cutting down the time the grant application process takes.
Mr. Custer pointed out that restoration of riparian areas was the number one goal of the Yellow Creek Watershed Action Plan.
The attendees discussed the affect of impervious areas on the watershed and agreed that the restoration of riparian areas has the highest impact on improving water quality. Requiring riparian set backs is the best thing that can be done to help improve watershed quality.
Fish Creek – Issues and Problems to be addressed
Mr. Roberts showed slides of areas within the Fishcreek Watershed taken during the two major flood events that occurred July 21, 2003, and May 21, 2004. The slide presentation included aerial maps with Fish Creek clearly marked showing its route through Stow, Franklin Township, and the City of Kent. Mr. Roberts said that the Fish Creek Watershed has an area of 11.5 square miles. Areas of Fish Creek have been dredged and channeled and Mr. Roberts explained that modifying streams using these methods was a common practice during the Twenty’s and Thirty’s. During heavy rains, the areas of the creek that have been modified flow faster resulting in higher amounts of silt building up within the stream, lowering the water quality.
Through the slide presentation, Mr. Roberts noted that there was much less property damage during these events where there were riparian areas adjacent to the creek than the areas where people’s lawns abutted the creek.
Identification of additional participants that would be of value to the watershed plan
Mr. Roberts asked for ideas about other individuals and/or organizations that should be invited to participate in the Fishcreek Watershed Action Plan.
The following groups and organizations were mentioned:
· Kent Environmental Council
· Izaak Walton League
· Ducks UnLimited
· Friends of the Crooked River, Elaine Marsh
· Summit County Soil & Water Conservation District
· Portage County Soil & Water Conservation District
· Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan
· Home Builders Association
Current Projects or Activities
Mr. Roberts said that one of the key components of the NPDES Phase II City of Kent/Kent State University joint Storm Water Management Plan is public education and outreach. As a part of the public education and outreach component, several river clean-up events have been organized. Ms. Craycroft said that the Breakneck Creek Watershed Coalition has had good success partnering with both public and private organizations and citizens. Ms. Craycroft passed out a brochure from the Breakneck Creek Coalition, describing the watershed and the coalition’s activities and volunteer opportunities.
Ms. Craycroft said that the Breakneck Creek Coalition used data from the County’s watershed plan. Using the County’s data, critical natural areas within the watershed were identified and layered over parcel maps to identify land owners within the watershed. The land owners were then sent the informational brochure with a cover letter.
Ms. Craycroft noted that the Portage County Watershed Plan is a good resource for data.
Mr. Custer said that in his experience some of the most successful watershed groups are those that are less formal.
Ms. Hickey said that the Meeker Property along Fish Creek had been recently purchased by the Ohio Wetland Foundation. Plans for this property include construction of a trail through the wetland that connects to the Jessie Smith Wildlife Preserve. The City of Kent Environmental Commission has agreed to help with this project. Ms. Hickey reported that gas wells have been removed from the property and that further work and research needs to be done to reduce invasive plant species and silt buildup within this wetland area.
Mr. Kosco said that retention ponds within the Fish Creek Watershed have been upsized since the 2003-2004 flood events; he is not aware of any other current or future upgrades planned by the City of Stow within the watershed.
Mr. Falstad said that the County and Township have been working together to update and implement new zoning requirements with awareness on restoring and increasing riparian corridors.
Ms. Craycroft said that the Portage County Parks District is hosting a planning meeting this Thursday, June 21st, at 7:00P.M. at Davey Tree to discuss plans for future conservation areas, parks, trails; she invited those in attendance to the meeting.
The meeting attendees discussed the importance of educating the public about the tree canopy and the beneficial aspects of riparian setback areas during flood events.
Mr. Falstad said it is important and a good idea for the communities of Stow, Franklin Township, and the City of Kent to work together to accomplish goals and alleviate problems.
Mr. Roberts said that the City recently received information about what to expect during an EPA audit of the City’s Storm Water Program. The EPA requirements are unfunded mandates that the City will have to meet.
Next meeting agenda items and date
The following items were mentioned as possible next meeting or future meeting agenda items: Invite the Portage County Regional Planning Commission to make a watershed presentation.
More information about the Fish Creek Watershed –
· The total impervious area
· Best habitat areas
· Worst flooding conditions
The next meeting was scheduled to be held in the 1st Floor conference room of the City of Kent’s Service Administration Complex, 930 Overholt Rd on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 3:00P.M.
Meeting was adjourned by Mr. Roberts at 4:30P.M .