November 24, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny with showers
60°F
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Drying up

Homeowners may have to pay to restore Brentwood Lake

CARLISLE TWP. — There’s hope for the once-beautiful Brentwood Lake, which has left homeowners in its namesake subdivision staring at mudflats where once they had water.
There’s a $750,000 to $800,000 solution to problems that have caused the lake to nearly dry up, but residents would have to shoulder some of the burden, according to representatives of the developer.
Each of the residents of the neighborhood would be asked to pay about $100 a year for 30 years to repay a $500,000, no-interest Issue 2 loan from the state, according to Anthony Giardini of Spitzer Management.
What about the rest of the $250,000 to $300,000 cost? Giardini said it could possibly come from the county general fund, state money set aside for dams, matching grants, from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and “maybe Spitzer could come up with some money.”
Giardini and Catherine Schuster, Spitzer’s director of real estate and development, pitched the plan Tuesday night to a group of solemn residents, who perused every detail.
After the session, Gordon Sooy, president of the Brentwood Lakes Homeowners Association, said there was a lot to study.
“Whether it’s a good deal, I have no opinion,” he said.
The dwindling lake has been an issue since last year, when residents demanded help from Spitzer Management, which developed the subdivision decades ago.
Karen Johnson, secretary of the homeowners association, said only about 70 of the 200 homeowners are active in the association, and it could be difficult to get others to pay. She also said the lake needs dredging, which could cost an additional $800,000.
“I’m concerned all the burden is on the homeowner,” Johnson said.
Bill Hotzman of the county engineer’s office said the proposed funding for the repairs is unusual — he has never seen assessments built into taxes for lake repairs. Assessments usually are used to fund sewer projects, he said.
“It is being used as a storm sewer,” Johnson replied.
Giardini said Spitzer paid $10,000 for an engineering study to craft a solution, and the company has much more invested in time on the issue.
He said the initial repair cost was estimated at $990,000, but after consulting with the county engineer, everyone agreed it could probably be done for less.
At least half of the cost — or $425,000 — includes work on one spillway that controls the flow of water and an emergency drain. The rest includes design costs, replacing a bridge on Waterfall Drive and installing new pavement and putting up guardrails.
The worst-case scenario is that the deteriorating bridge would be closed, and there would be only one entrance into the subdivision — Edgewood Drive, which would put extra traffic on that road, Giardini said.
Giardini said he is hoping for a solution so the whole thing doesn’t end up in court. The residents, he said, should be willing to “kick in a little bit if your private lake is getting filled in.”
Johnson, the secretary of the association, responded:  “Actually, it’s your private lake.”
After the meeting, Giardini was hopeful work on the plan could continue.
If residents balk, he said, Spitzer could arguably allow the lake to dry up. As to whether Spitzer has a legal obligation to maintain the lake, Giardini said that’s been researched. “None that I could find,” he said.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.