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Officials offered a potential solution to the drainage problems at Muzzy Lake in Rootstown, but it's one that city engineers don't think holds water.
Ravenna city officials eventually agreed to help facilitate the pumping of water out of Muzzy Lake to reduce water levels, which year-round residents fear could destroy their homes if the water is allowed to remain long enough to freeze.
But, in allowing the county to use its land to place the pumps, officials warned that pumping the water out of the lake won't do any good because it could come right back, and that's why the city won't spend its own money on the pumping.
"I don't see how putting a pump in any of these locations is going to do any good," City Engineer Bob Finney said. "Where would you pump it? You pump the water into the swamp and it comes right back at you. You're chasing your tail, so to speak."
But Tim Archer, vice president of the East Muzzy Lake homeowners association, encouraged officials to try the solution and see if it helps.
"At least it's worth a try," he said. "The consensus seems to be to wait for it to go down. Even if we get no further rain, it's going to take 24 days to get to that point. We don't have that kind of time."
Portage County Commissioner Chris Smeiles said the county has a 4-inch pump, which it hopes to use to lower the lake to a manageable level until a long-term solution can be found. He said the same pump was used previously when Lake Brady flooding endangered county pump stations, and the work was done in about four days.
The city has a 3-inch pump, Ravenna Service Director Kelly Engelhart, but that's not sufficient to drain the area. The city also can borrow a 6-inch pump from another sewer district, but there is a cost associated with the rental.
The city, she said, is willing to allow the homeowners to use its easement to pump water from the lake, and allow homeowners to access the city's stave pipe. However, she said, the city would not spend any money on the pumping.
Smeiles said the county hopes to pump water to a nearby outlet or to a manhole near a stream, which he said once "gushed" with water from the lake.
He suggested that a joint Issue 2 project be put together to drain the area in the long term.
"No matter what happens, we have to find a long-term solution," Mayor Joseph Bica said.
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