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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2003

$50,000 grant targets cleanup of ditch


A grant of nearly $50,000 has been approved for Springfield Township for work involved in cleaning Harvest Ditch in the eastern part of the township and enclosing part of it.

The ditch is meant for storm water drainage but is more often a stagnant, litter-filled stretch that tends to overflow before it flows eastward to drain the runoff.

The grant takes care of the funding, but the township must wait for Toledo to make improvements to its side of the ditch in the area of Lancaster Avenue, said David Schulz, an administrative assistant with the township. That work could begin in the fall, when the township plans to start its work on the ditch.

The slope needs to be improved within Toledo so water will drain more freely from Springfield Township.

As part of the overall plan, township trustees recently approved a resolution supporting a grant request by Toledo, which will allow it to purchase some private property in Springfield Township.

Those parcels will be used to construct a series of retention ponds meant to hold storm water, reducing the amount that runs into the ditch, said township administrator Bob Anderson.

If all goes well, Toledo will start retention pond work next year, according to township documents. Mr. Anderson said any purchases by Toledo will be private sales and the property will remain part of the township.

Both township officials said the efforts of both governments are meant to let water in the ditch flow freely and reduce problems.

Residents east of McCord Road, primarily between Hill and South avenues, have complained for years about the backup in the ditch and litter clogging up the waterway, which is a boundary of many backyards. The township's grant application said the area affected by the ditch has about 270 households.

Mr. Schulz said the township's first order of business would be to clear litter and cut down areas of overgrowth. The banks will then be lined with stone, and the ditch will be enclosed from Shrewsbury to the township limits.

He said the township would wait to begin until the portion of the ditch in Toledo has been improved to allow for water to move more quickly.

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