GIRARD Council gives OK to lowering height of dam on lake
One councilman pointed out five commercial buildings that have become eyesores.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- City council will tell the Army Corps of Engineers it favors partial breaching of the Lower Girard Lake dam.
Lawmakers passed a resolution Monday to have Law Director Mark Standohar inform the corps of its decision.
Charles Doran, D-4th, chairman of council's property research committee, asked that the letter tell the corps the city favors removing 12 1/2 feet from the crest of the concrete dam, thus reducing the water level.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has expressed concern the deteriorated dam could fail under extreme conditions.
Doran said it will take the corps three to six months to determine how to lower the height of the dam.
At the same time, Doran said, the city will retain $1.14 million it has in federal funds for dam repairs.
The corps has estimated the cost of lowering the dam at $1.84 million. Doran hopes the corps will come up with additional funds to repair or rebuild the dam.
Council also addressed nonresidential properties that have become eyesores.
Renny Paolone, D-1st, called attention to five vacant structures.
He pointed to the Dempsey Steel Co. property on South State Street, the Boccia property on North State, a gray-colored building across from Girard High School, and the former Washington and North Avenue schools that are no longer owned by the school board.
John Moliterno, D-at-large, said council can do something to impose penalties, including foreclosure.
Mayor James J. Melfi called attention to the former Ohio Leather Works property on North State that has had the city tied up in court as the city attempts to foreclose on it.
The law always seems to be on the side of the landlords, Melfi said, noting it also takes money to pursue such cases and the city is in fiscal emergency.
Council approved legislation authorizing the safety director to enter into a contract with Cold Springs Granite Group to construct a 96-crypt mausoleum in Girard Cemetery.
Safety Director Jerry Lambert said the city will pay Cold Springs $5,000 up front. The structure won't be built until the city sells enough crypts to pay for it.
The project is viewed as a moneymaker for the city.