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Published: Thursday, 5/25/2006

Springfield Township: Officials study ways to clean up dirty ditch


Springfield Township officials are looking into possible plans to clean up Harvest Ditch in a neighborhood where residents have complained about rodents.

Harvest ditch is located in the Lincoln Green neighborhood, and runs through some backyards. Problems occur when people use the ditch as a dumping grounds, said Bob Anderson, township administrator.

The township has addressed the rodent problem, and options are being considered to address the ditch issue, he said. The houses are built close together, and it's difficult to get machinery back to the ditch, he explained.

In 2003 township officials outlined phases for ditch improvements. The first phase involved the creation of a Lincoln Green neighborhood park, a project that was completed with community development block grant funds, he said. Now, the township needs to pursue the other phases, but he said that it is going to be expensive and it will take dedication to doing it to complete the other phases.

When the park was created, a portion of the ditch was covered, and a tile was put in and then that was covered. "We need to do that with the rest of the ditch," he said. However, there are other options that will be considered. "Stoning the banks might be an alternative," he said.

After residents recently complained to township officials about seeing rodents in their back yards, trustees contacted the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

A health department sanitarian who went out to the neighborhood found both sides of the ditch infested with rodent runs and holes, said Konni Sutfield, a supervisor for the health department.

There were signs that the rats were running to the ditch from different directions. Rat poison was put out along the ditch, and monitoring will continue until the rodents are gone, he said.

No residents have in that area complained to the health department about rodents, Mr. Sutfield said.

"We had received a letter from Springfield Township that said that residents had complained about the ditch."

The sanitarian reported that certai yards in the neighborhood had dog feces and debris, and there was some debris in the ditch.

The sanitarian talked to residents about cleaning up the feces because it attracts rats - rats eat dog feces.

The rodent situation can be addressed with everyone working together, Mr. Sutfield said.

"We can get rid of them," he said about the rodents. Typically, there aren't complaints about rodents in Springfield Township, he said.

"It's not an area we usually get complaints from."

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