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Kent council opposes Akron proposal to divert water from Lake Rockwell

Published: July 10, 1997 12:00 AM

By Diane SmithRecord-Courier staff writerKent City Council hopes to prevent Akron from diverting millions of gallonsof water from Lake Rockwell and the Cuyahoga River. Akron has proposed divertingup to 5-million gallons of water daily from Lake Rockwell in Franklin Townshipand Streetsboro, one of the city's main water supplies and site of one ofits water treatment plants. Council Wednesday asked Interim City ManagerWilliam Lillich to attempt to negotiate with Akron representatives hopingboth sides can agree to: -- Minimize releases from the Lake Rockwell dam.-- Compensation to Kent for additional water treatment costs they say wouldresult form the diversion.-- Testing of oxygen levels below the dam.-- Cooperative water conservation programs.A copy of the resolution, voicing Kent's opposition and calling for talkswith Akron will also be sent to Gov. George Voinovich. The water would beused to supply parts of Copley, Coventry and Springfield townships in southernSummit County as part of three joint economic-development agreements.Before putting the proposal into effect, Akron needs the approval of theCouncil of Great Lakes Governors, because the diversion would take waterfrom Lake Erie and the Great Lakes watershed and send it to the TuscarawasRiver and Ohio River watershed.Akron has proposed replacing the lost flow downstream from Portage Countyby diverting water from Portage Lakes into two points along the CuyahogaRiver.The Kent's environmental commission and the Kent Environmental Council haveopposed Akron's plan, saying it would reduce the already low water flowin the river during the summer, cause more stagnant waters and create foulodors in the river and make it less enjoyable to use and harming fish.Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager Bob Brown said the plan would also raisewastewater treatment costs because there would be less river flow to dilutedischarged wastewater, eventually leading to more stringent pollution controlguidelines for industry and putting the city ad a disadvantage for economicdevelopment.Kent Environmental Council President Harold Walker applauded council formoving ahead with the resolution.In other business, council approved a settlement between the city and Kentresidents Anthony and Elizabeth Missimi allowing them to build a home onSheri Drive on land the family owns.The family asked for the permit in January, but had been unable to obtainone because the site is past the end of the road and sewer and water linesdo not run there.The city will pay for water and sewer lines to be extended 90 feet to theproperty line. From there, the road extension and extension of utility lineswould be subject to a voluntary assessment paid by the Missimi family.The work will be done this year if possible, but City Engineer Alan Brubakerestimated the city won't start the road work until next year because itis late in the construction season.


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