SWCD project: Packer Creek in line for grant to address flooding

Larry Limpf

Flooding problems along Packer Creek near the Village of Genoa could be addressed with the help of a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mike Libben, district administrator of the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District, said his office has been examining the locations where the creek is prone to flooding at the request of residents who own adjacent property.
He updated the Ottawa County commissioners on the project during their Jan. 27 meeting.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions with landowners in Genoa about flooding issues,” he said last week. “We’ve taken it upon ourselves to evaluate the creek, particularly the channel from west of the village to the east side of the village, and look for obstructions and what might be holding up the water.”
The SWCD has qualified for funding from an organization, the Maumee Area of Concern Committee, that can be used for water quality projects. Through a U.S. EPA grant, MAOC has earmarked approximately $3.4 million for the work.
Libben said the project is in its planning stages but a few properties have been identified for channel restoration and riparian buffer improvements.
“We’re looking at all areas of what we can do about drainage problems and water quality,” Libben said. ”As Packer Creek goes through Genoa it’s pretty much on rock. But as you get west of town and closer to Wood County there has been a lot of development so there is more run-off getting into the creek faster than it used to. Residents west of town brought it to our attention so we’ve been working on solutions for a couple years and we are now at a point where we have some funding to do some projects that will help.”
He said the volume of water during heavy storms overwhelms the creek’s capacity to move it eastward. Obstructions such as fallen trees will be removed but the focus of the remedial work will be on widening the channel where needed and planting wetlands to absorb more of the overflow.
“We have some concept plans developed and we will be fine tuning them,” Libben said, adding the work will likely start in 2023.
The Maumee Area of Concern Committee was established in 1987 as a facilitating organization for water quality projects. Its predecessor was the Maumee Remedial Action Plan.
Libben also updated the commissioners on the local participation in the H2Ohio initiative – a voluntary state program that promotes the use of conservation measures to reduce run-off of fertilizer from farm fields.
Seventy growers in the county signed up with the program this past year, he said. That equates to about 40 percent of the farmable acreage in the county.
Libben said he was pleased with the response. As part of the H2Ohio program, his office has also been working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on drainage and wetland projects.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association