Ohio Supreme Court wants answers on flooding compensation

COLUMBUS (AP) — The state must respond to complaints by dozens of landowners near Ohio’s largest inland lake who say compensation for flooding losses has been delayed again, the state Supreme Court said today.

At issue is how fast the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has responded to a court order to compensate 87 landowners near Grand Lake St. Marys, a 20-square-mile lake between Dayton and Toledo.

Attorneys for the landowners, almost all farmers, argue the state is revoking previous good faith financial offers and saying it will make newer and lower offers.

The attorneys accuse the state of trying to wear the landowners out with constant delays and reduce their compensation “to virtually nothing,” according to a Dec. 13 court filing.

The ODNR has said previously the agency has an obligation to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. The agency told the court last year it met two court-ordered deadlines to speed up compensation.

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