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OUR VIEW: Muzzy Lake residents need solution for flooding

value of homes undermined by problems with rising water level

Published: December 5, 2012 4:00 AM

A solution to the flood-

ing at Muzzy Lake is said to rest with multiple parties and that may be one reason why it's taking so long to arrive at a solution, but it does appear the city of Ravenna, which claims to own Muzzy Lake, has as much responsibility as anyone and should make an effort to speed up the abatement of the flooding.

Popular thinking is that an outflow path from Muzzy Lake, situated just north of I-76 off S.R. 44 in Rootstown Township, is blocked. That should be a simple matter to confirm. Someone just needs to walk the property. Since the outflow is on city-owned property, responsibly for that would appear to be Ravenna's. If that is indeed the problem, a fix needs to be designed and applied quickly.

Part of the Breakneck Creek Watershed that flows north into the Cuyahoga River, Muzzy Lake was at one time part of the city's water supply, a backup for Crystal Lake and a source of water for the city's industries. A system of canals and locks enabled the city to control the level of the water. That system has aged over the years.

Muzzy Lake is no longer important to the city's water supply, which now comes from Lake Hodgson. In that respect, Muzzy Lake has probably become an afterthought for Ravenna.

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In the interim, the Ohio Department of Transportation installed a culvert under I-76 to faciliate outflow to a wetland south of that highway. From the wetland area, the water works its way eventually to Breakneck Creek. The ODOT installation may have complicated the problem, too.

The city is worried about incurring liability by doing anything, but it may find its risks are much higher by not doing anything since several homes at Muzzy Lake have incurred flood damages that undermine their value.

The flooding has been going on for several weeks. The main thrust of the city, the county, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Rootstown Township so far seems to be to determine where responsibility lies. While that is deliberated, those at Muzzy Lake are victims.

Thus, do bureaucracy and caution triumph over bold and effective leadership.

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anonymous Dec 5, 2012 11:04 AM

If the lake is owned by the City of Ravenna, how do these people get to build these homes on it? Why should the taxpayer of Ravenna be responsible for the flooding of private homes if the lake belongs to the city? This smells like a good old boy favoritism crap to me.