Reynoldsburg News

Partnership with conservation district will cost $15,000


Reynoldsburg City Council's finance committee has asked council to appropriate $15,000 for a working agreement between the city and the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.

Mayor Brad McCloud recommended the city partner again with the organization, paying the same amount as last year, $15,000, for expert advice and action plans for the city's watershed issues.

During the Oct. 15 committee meeting, McCloud said Kurt Keljo, watershed coordinator for the conservation district, spoke to city leaders a few weeks ago.

"Mr. Keljo was here to talk about watershed issues and ask us if we would be willing to partner with them again this year," he said.

Services provided to the city, according to the agreement, include writing grants to secure funding for implementation projects outlined in the Blacklick and Rocky Fork watershed action plans; working with state and local partners to implement the watershed action plans; developing monitoring plans consistent with watershed needs; and working with local municipalities and landowners to encourage adoption of stream-protection practices.

The conservation district also will implement a water resource-funded education/information program, in coordination with the Central Ohio Watershed Council.

Committee members also agreed to send an ordinance to transfer $5,000 from two different city accounts to City Council as emergency legislation; the funds will be used to purchase supplies for repair or replacement of storm water outlets.

Keljo told council members Sept. 24 that major development in the Waggoner Road and East Broad Street area in the past 15 years has caused more runoff of water from Dysart Run, the watershed that runs off Blacklick Creek.

He said action plans for Blacklick, Rocky Fork and the lower Big Walnut creeks could minimize the erosion caused by development in those areas. The Dysart Run watershed runs along East Broad Street to Waggoner Road and crosses East Broad to go under Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, Keljo said.

He said a group of Ohio State University students, led by OSU professor Andy Ward, are studying Blacklick Creek in the Reynoldsburg area, looking into ways to minimize erosion and improve water quality.

"The difficulty in dealing with watershed erosion is that the origination of the problem often occurs upstream, so some measures to decrease erosion end up temporary," he said. "So we need to update homeowners on what they can do to help."

He said homeowners could learn to create rain gardens to help divert rainwater and learn other ways to manage erosion at workshops sponsored by the OSU Extension.

Two streamside landowner workshops are scheduled to help area landowners learn how to manage erosion, protect their health and promote a backyard habitat.

The first will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Reynoldsburg Police Department, 7240 E. Main St. The second workshop will be offered at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Jefferson Township Fire Department, 6767 Havens Corners Road in Blacklick.

People can register for either session by calling 614-688-3421. A light meal will be provided.

Questions can be directed to Anne Baird at the same number or via email to baird.41