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Lakemore mayor speaks about issues at Springfield Lake

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

LAKEMORE Village Mayor Rich Cole told Council he needed to put to rest many misrepresentations of certain situations relating to pollution to Springfield Lake.

During the July 20 council meeting, Cole said there have been false narratives and untruths being spread around the village causing the issue.

“For the record, Lakemore is not dumping or pumping sewage into Springfield Lake,” he said. “Those untruths need to be stopped. We are not doing so. If you have evidence of anyone doing so, bring it to my attention or Tracy Fast’s attention as village administrator.”

Cole continued that if there was any evidence, it would have been on social media and would have been reported to the proper agency.

“Trust me on that,” Cole said. “The evidence is not out there. Why? Because we are not doing that. So that has to stop.”

Cole announced that the combined meeting set for Springfield and the village for July 27 was canceled by the Health Department due to meetings being limited to 10 or less people. He said officials are looking to set something up electronically that would be interactive and live streamed.

“It is a very important meeting we believe, in Lakemore, needs to be shared with the public for the safety, health and well-being of Springfield Lake and what we are doing and where we are going,” Cole said.

Cole also gave an update on what Lakemore is doing to help improve the conditions of Springfield Lake. Fast, Cole, engineers and council have been meeting to decipher a plan for mediation that is allowable by the many entities that have a stake in the lake. Those entities include, but are not limited to, Springfield Township, various departments of Summit County, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Since before I took office, I stated that fixing Springfield Lake is a top priority and it is,” Cole said.

Cole said Fast is rolling out a plan to handle surface run off, including ditching and retention areas.

“The plan is to ditch the entirety of Lakemore,” he said. “It has not been done for decades. Ditches are going in where ditches once were. They have been filled and they need to be there. We need to slow the flow of surface run off to the lake, let it seep into the ground naturally, instead of sending a torrent of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer, etc.”

Cole said any ditch that is dig is in village right of way and if anyone has a complaint, to contact him.

“A lot of thought, a lot of energy, a lot of means have gone into this plan,” Cole said. “I commend Tracy (Fast) for everything she puts into this. She works 24/7 for the Village of Lakemore. Please try to work with us on this.”

Cole said they need to educate residents on the harmful effects of herbicides and pesticides.

“We will encourage the use of rain barrels,” he said. “We are looking for some grant monies to roll that out locally.”

Lakemore officials are allowing cattails and lily pads to grow in certain areas of the lake. Cole said he has already received a number of phone calls about the cattails ruining the view of the lake.

“Please understand that this is purposeful,” he said. “We are allowing natural vegetation along the shoreline which acts as natural filtration for water runoff to the lake. It is very important, and it serves a purpose.”

Cole asked for residents not to destroy the lily pads because they block the sunlight which slows down the growth of algae.

Springfield Lake’s problems, Cole said, are not solely because of Lakemore there are many different components and problems officials are working to rectify.

“Please give us a chance,” he said.

Councilman Jon Strittmatter said there is information on the village website as to how residents can help clean up the lake.

“This did not happen overnight,” Strittmatter said. “It was brought out more to the attention of people when the technology was able to photograph from satellites. This has been happening for many, many years. It is not going to be an easy fix and it is going to take time.”

In other action, council:

• Approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and village solicitor to enter into an agreement with the city of Green for fire dispatching services. The services would be for Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022. The city of Green will provide emergency fire and medical dispatching service to Lakemore for calls which are received by the city originating in the village for 24 hours seven days a week.

• Approved a resolution to accept the resignation of Christopher Alderman from the Lakemore Public Services Department.

• Approved to amend previous ordinances for appropriations for expenses during the fiscal year ending Dec. 31.

Announcements:

• Lunches are being passed out at the Municipal Building in Lakemore and Spring Hill Elementary School for children of all ages that live in the Springfield School District from 11 a.m. to noon.

• The Nuisance Abatement Committee met and discussed four properties. The village is tearing down one, tearing a garage down on one and doing clean up and making repairs on the others. The cost will be placed on the tax duplicates for any work the village does on the properties that owners will not do.