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Sylvania residents receive unexpected notice for Ditch Improvement
City & Township property owners surprised by assessment

Over 70,000 parcels of land in Lucas County are reported to be affected by the "Tenmile Creek Watershed Improvement Project," and a large number of those landowners reside in Sylvania City and Township.

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Thousands of area residents received a postcard in the mail recently, with a brief statement about the new Ditch Improvement Assessment and upcoming Views and Hearings.  The "View" date for Sylvania City and Township is July 15, 2021.

The postcard directs residents with questions to visit an address on the web, however many residents were unable to access the web address or find the information, leaving residents with more questions than answers, and voicing their frustrations on social media.

The correct web address to visit for the County's public information on the Ditch Improvement Assessment is here:

https://co.lucas.oh.us/3487/Tenmile-Creek 

click to view copy of postcard

In response to the frustrations posted online, Kyle Warner, who is listed as a Professional Engineer with the Lucas County Engineer's Office, posted the following information in a public Facebook group for Sylvania residents:

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"In Ohio, the maintenance of ditches, streams, and creeks are the responsibility of adjacent land owners. This petition process establishes the ability for Lucas County to access and maintain Ten Mile Creek, and all of its listed tributaries, and then assess the property owners for any work that is performed. Currently there is not a specific maintenance project planned, but should this petition process proceed, a schedule will be established identifying what percentage of any future maintenance project each parcel within the Ten Mile Creek watershed could be assessed. At the time that this schedule is established, each property owner will be notified of the base assessment value for their parcel of land. This will represent a "maximum dollar amount" that you could be assessed if the entirety of Ten Mile Creek, and all of its listed tributaries, had to be re-constructed from scratch. This will not represent what each parcel will actually be assessed. The actual dollar amount that can be assessed in the future will depend on the cost of any maintenance projects.

Should it be determined by the Lucas County Engineer’s Offices, that maintenance work is required for any ditch/ditches included within this petition, the Lucas County Engineer will request an assessment from all benefiting landowners, including all state, county, and township property, in order to perform said maintenance work the following year.

The total amount assessed will be based on the cost of said project(s). The amount each parcel will be assessed is based on several factors such as soil type, land use, land acreage, proximity to the improvement location, how much of the improvement the parcel will utilize, etc.

Anyone who received these postcards today should have property within the Ten Mile Creek watershed, and thus benefits from Ten Mile Creek being maintained. Whether someone lives on a acreage parcel or within a subdivision, if they live within the Ten Mile Creek watershed, their storm water runoff eventually will drain through Ten Mile Creek. The storm sewers in subdivisions generally drain directly to a retention/detention pond, which then outlets to a county storm sewer or nearby ditch. For example, look at Comstock Ditch. Storm water for any property or subdivision that drains into Comstock Ditch, will then drain into Smith Ditch, which drains into Ten Mile Creek just north of the bridge on Sylvania Ave, about 680' west of Silica Rd. Comstock Ditch, is one of the listed tributaries that will also be maintained under this petition. As all of the property owners within the Ten Mile Creek watershed utilize, or benefit from, Ten Mile Creek, they are being asked to pay small portion to maintain it."

The County's website shows a list of over 1,400 pages of parcels (at about 50 parcels per page) in Lucas County alone that will be impacted by the improvement project. 

(click to view list)

The County has also provided a FAQ sheet about the Ten Mile Creek project, click here to view/download:  CountyEngineerFAQ

 
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tenmile watershed postcard

Additional resources:

Visit the Lucas County Engineer's official website:

https://www.co.lucas.oh.us/3422/Lucas-County-Engineers-Office

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