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Hydraulic Canal

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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    Posted: Dec 04 2013 at 10:45am
Posted: 4:42 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
MIDDLETOWN

Middletown landlord sues Miami Conservancy District for $1.5M

By Michael D. Pitman

Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN —

A Middletown landlord has filed a lawsuit against the Miami Conservancy District for $1.56 million, claiming the agency allowed his property to be flooded.

Jeff Faulkner filed a lawsuit last month in Butler County Common Pleas Court against the Dayton-based conservancy district because it failed to maintain the Hydraulic Canal, which flows from the Great Miami River north of Middletown through the city and back to the river at the Bicentennial Commons.

The suit contends that a back flow of sewer water pools on his property, Northgate Condominiums at 2968 Wilbraham Road, and causes water to stand at 5 to 6 feet deep.

“As a result … the back flow and standing sewer water has created and continues to pose a safety and health hazard” to the property and residents, according to the suit. Faulkner, who resides at the 80-unit condominium complex, claims in the suit he’s spent $60,000 to fix issues caused by the flooding.

Miami Conservancy District spokeswoman Brenda Gibson said they have received the complaint but the district’s attorneys have not had a chance to review the lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 20, was delivered by certified mail on Nov. 27, according to court records. The district has 28 days to respond, also according to the records.

The conservancy district was established about a century ago. Its core mission is flood protection, but the organization does help preserve the quality of water through monitoring, testing and education; promote recreation along rivers and streams; owns or maintains 35 miles of recreation trails; and bring together state and federal funds to leverage local dollars.

According to Faulkner’s suit, a head gate north of the city maintained by the conservancy district had failed and water flow from the Hydraulic Canal “became stagnant and could no longer flow (back) to the Great Miami River.” And despite attempts to maintain the area around that head gate the conservancy district “has unreasonably obstructed the natural and customary flow of sewer water simultaneous preventing the flow.”

The Hydraulic Canal, which was built in 1852, was used for the paper industry in Middletown, according to Middletown Historical Society records. A dam, which was used to divert water from the Great Miami River to the Hydraulic Canal, broke in 1993 and it was never repaired.

A small amount of water still flows from the canal.

In addition to recouping that $60,000, plus attorneys fees, the Middletown landlord is seeking $500,000 each in three claims which accuse the conservancy district of: “irreparable harm” for its “actions and/or omissions,” maintaining an unreasonable alteration of the natural water flow causing it to back flow and pool on his property, and an encroachment on his property.


The MCD lawsuit

The Miami Conservancy District has been sued by Middletown landlord and resident Jeff Faulkner. Here is what the suit claims:

  • the Conservancy District has allowed water from the Hydraulic Canal to impede and flow onto an adjacent property;
  • the flooding from the Hydraulic Canal has caused a nuisance for Faulkner;
  • the Conservancy District has breached its duty by not maintaining a reasonable alteration of the natural flow of water which resulted in the flooding of Faulkner’s property
  • the flooding “constitutes a continuing encroachment and trespass” on Faulkner’s property; and
  • Faulkner has spent more than $60,000 to fix the issues caused by the flooding

Source: Northgate Condominium Association, et al., v. the Miami Conservancy District

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 04 2013 at 11:12am
Well, we've all seen where this has played out before. Years ago, the city talked about how to address the dam break, the lack of water flow and the mosquito issues. Gary (can't think of the last name) approached the city with water tests and flooding issues for the Wilbraham Rd. folks to no avail. There was discussion about spending money on aerators and pumps to help move the water but that was just talk. Then, as quickly as the subject was brought up is as quickly as it was dropped. Too costly for the city to give a high priority to so they decided to let it fade away.......until now when Mr. Faulkner decided to re-address the subject.

Let's hope the legal action forces someone.....the city?....anyone, to finally take care of the problem that has been with us for decades.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SEEKING THE TRUTH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 15 2013 at 8:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SEEKING THE TRUTH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 15 2013 at 8:27pm
The question is if the canal is permanently closed who is flooding the MCD property with sewer water? 1978 permit from the MCD to the City of Middletown?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 16 2013 at 7:25am

Vet

Several years ago Miss Judy met with Gary Barge and promised him that the next year she would put 220,000 dollars into the budget to start the clean up of the canal.Needless to say the next year Miss Judy change her mind stating she didn't have the money. But she always finds the money for THEIR DOWNTOWN
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2014 at 8:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2014 at 8:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2014 at 8:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2014 at 8:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2014 at 12:38pm

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Committed to Quality – Dedicated to Service

September 16, 1999

TO: Ronald Olson, City Manager

FROM: Preston Combs, Director of Public Works


SUBJECT: HYDRAULIC CANAL UPDATE

    Staff has been reviewing the downtown recirculating option proposed at the August 17, 1999 Work Session. The feasibility and cost scenario of this option and three other options – recirculate entire canal, groundwater pumping to supply canal flow, and surface pumping to provide canal flow – are being reviewed by Finkbeiner, Pettis & Strout, Inc. This information will be available at a future meeting.

    Staff has also been working with the Historical Society to develop a five-step approach to deal with existing aesthetic problems. The use of water plants, algae eating fish, shade trees, aerators, and biological treatments are all being explored individually and in combination to control the algae and duckweed that have taken over the canal.

PMC/vh

File

 H:\pworks\ADMIN\1999\PMC\canalupdate.doc

September 16, 1999

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2014 at 1:42pm

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Committed to Quality - Dedicated to Service

October 1, 1999

TO: Ron Olson, City Manager

FROM: Preston M. Combs, Public Works Director

SUBJECT: HYDRAULIC CANAL

I asked one of our engineering consultants to review the options and costs that I had presented August 17. The pumping issues as questioned by Mr. Nenni to recirculate the entire canal are not a question I was comfortable answering. Steve Seitz’s (of Finkbeiner, Pettis and Strout) bottom line is to pursue solution along the pond maintenance lines as we alluded to in the last presentation. Sam Ashworth and other Historical Society members are interested in helping find a low cost, quick fix for the canal’s aesthetic problems. We hope to have a joint recommendation for City Commission soon.


HYDRAULIC CANAL OPTIONS

Finkbeiner, Pettis and Strout Summary

Alternate 1 – Recirculate 1400’ of Canal $372,000

Plus $12 – 14,000/year electric

Alternate 2 – Recirculate entire Canal $1,372,000

Plus $53 – 55,000/year electric

Alternate 3 – Groundwater Wells for Flow $900,000

Plus $30 – 35,000/year electric

Alternate 4 – Surface Water for Flow $600,000

Plus $12 – 15,000/year electric

Alternate 5 – Pond Maintenance $80,000

Plus $2 – 5,000/year electric

“In our option Alternate 5 – Natural Means of Pond Maintenance is the best of the solutions presented for cleaning up the appearance of the Hydraulic Canal. All of the alternatives presented that involve pumping are much too expensive for the amount of benefit they provide. Configuring the canal as a pond and maintaining it through natural and chemical methods is much less costly to build and operate and much less disruptive of the environment to establish. We recommend that the City continue to work with the environmental specialists to determine what specifically they recommend.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trimtab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 8:25pm
thanks for posting this Vivian. I've never seen the result of the Historical Society's recommendations to the city in writing.

when the city was considering pumping water and other heavy civil engineering to "fix" the hydraulic canal, the Historical Society stepped up and took an interest. we were wondering what was being "fixed" and why.

just like a lot of others in town, we wanted other less costly options considered. but we were also trying to find out more about the health of the hydraulic - just out the front door of the Society's Canal House museum.

the strong odor detected among those crossing into Smith park had much more to do our sewage treatment plant. further downstream but upwind than the canal. nevertheless, the hydraulic was wrongly associated with the smell. the lousy image continued to the visual as it appeared to be coated with algae.

but what most thought was algae was actually duckweed. the Historical Society consulted a biology professor at Miami Oxford - an expert in Lemnoideae, or common duckweed. he assured us that we had a somewhat out of balance, but otherwise healthy body of stagnant water. much more nuisance than catastrophe.

the city had equipment and licensed expertise on staff capable of treating out-of-balance duckweed on stagnant water. help was obtained from the guys at Weatherwax who kept the ponds pristine - turned out to be much cheaper than pumping.

we also tried to helpd a few home owners along Wilbraham Rd. research ownership vs. water rights of the hydraulic - but that's another topic.

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