January, February, 2013
Emails flew back and forth between myself and Kodiak, the Lot 9 owner, Matrix Engineering, John Matricardi, Dan Willhoite of Medina County Engineers, and of course, my attorney, David Riehl as the dam restoration plans were refined for approval. Finally February, 28th the plans were declared acceptable and were mailed to me in California.
March Madness, 2013
March 1st I made copies at Staples of all sets of plans prepared by Matrix Engineering, folded them in packets of sets and mailed 3 packets to Mr. Riehl's office for them to forward 2 packets to the Lot 9 attorney, one for the attorney and one for the Lot 9 owners. I also mailed a packet to Kodiak and another packet to Liverpool Township Maintenance supervisor, Dale Vassal. I kept 2 packets for myself in case I needed to make more copies.
March 16th I returned to Valley City. Kodiak sent their bid for the remainder of the project on March 18th. I forwarded it to Mr. Riehl for him to forward to the owners of Lot 9 and their attorney.
March 27th I had a meeting with Liverpool Township Maintenance supervisor, Vassal, regarding the procedure for the catch basin and culvert installation. I obtained bids from Carter Lumber and Valley City Builder Supply.
March 28th I met with Dan Wilhoite, Medina County engineer regarding permits and time frame/scope/costs to obtain them.
April Showers, 2013
April emails continued and my attorney, Dave Riehl was preparing the contract with Kodiak. While the contract was creeping along, I weeded the upper dam for many days, gathering horsetail spore stalks and limed the dam to the upper lake, weeded and removed all leaves from mounds, gardens on Lots 10, 12 and 13. I also gathered limbs from Lots 10, 11, 12 and 13 that had been knocked down during winter storms and took them to the burn pile. Also during the Winter, the arborvitae that we had planted on the Lot 10 ETA mound had their limbs bowed down from the heavy winter snows and needed to be tied together with rope until their trunks are strong enough to support themselves. This was also a many day project. One additional glitch was the many days of April that had rainy or stormy conditions.
Muggy May, 2013
May started out very warm for May. While I waited for the contract with Kodiak and a Construction Agreement between the owners of Lot 9 and 10, 11 and 12 and Kodiak to be finalized, I was able to do a lot of spraying and additional weeding and pruning, especially killing horsetail on the dam to the upper lake by cutting and brushing the cut horsetail stalks individually with Ortho Brush-B-Gone Max, trying to eradicate them by killing their roots. I left for California May 26th.
June, July Dam Progress, 2013
June came and went. I returned to Valley City June 25th. July 8th the owner of Lot 9 claimed to not have received the construction plans though my attorney had mailed their attorney 2 packets in early March. I had 2 more sets of construction plans copied at Staples and drove them to my attorney's office to have them mailed to the Lot 9's attorney a second time. There were some preliminary construction agreements that needed to be signed by my husband, Vince, so I mailed them to him for his signature. Once we had the Construction Agreement and Contract and a Notice of Commencement signed by all owners of Lots 9, 10, 11 and 12, we forwarded them on July 18th to Kodiak for a review by their attorney.
July 31st more corrections were suggested, this time by Kodiak's attorney.
August, September, 2013
The month of August continued with emails among the lawyers for Kodiak and Lots 9 and 10, refining the documents for the dam restoration. I kept the Liverpool Township Maintenance department and the Medina County Engineers updated. While I waited for the legal dance to proceed, I cleared brush and weeds from Lot 6, including its mound, and took the debris to the burn pile. I continued to kill horsetail on the upper lake dam as well as on the lower lake dam. I sprayed the Lot 11, 12, 13 driveways and the West River Road common driveway with weed killer/pre-emergence chemicals. On August 10th I returned to California, continuing the email communication with the various parties involved with the dam restoration.
September 10th, I returned to Valley City. Kodiak had signed the contract. I met with Dale Vassal of Liverpool Township maintenance, to begin their scheduling of the catch basin and culvert installation to connect the new location for the spillway to the existing catch basin which is currently connected to the old spillway. On September 12th, I ordered the culvert from Valley City Builder Supply. I mailed the contract documents to my husband to re-sign them. September 30th I arranged for the necessary Medina County permits.
While I waited for further progress on the dam restoration, I weeded the mounds on Lot 12, 13, the West River Road entrance as well as some of the gardens on Lot 10. I replaced the central support pole of the lean-to and painted it and the trim. I spotted a hornets' nest in the Lot 10 lawn and cut it down and killed the hornets. I also ditched and installed a culvert in an area of the original Popa driveway installed alongside the Lot 10 hillside. This area had springs that kept that area too wet to drive through. In addition, I removed a 14-in diameter and a 10-inch diameter stump that was in the middle of the old driveway.
I also began to clear saplings on the north side of the lower lake since the water level had been lowered and I could reach the branches, trunks and saplings in the exposed muck. These I carried to the Lot 10 burn pile.
October, 2013, Physical Progress at Last
On October 1st I picked up the completed permits from the Medina County Engineers office. I scanned them and emailed copies to the Lot 9 owners with carbon copies to both attorneys, and also emailed the permits to Kodiak. I forwarded the cost of the permits and the culverts to the Lot 9 owners for them to reimburse me for their share of the cost per our Construction Agreement. I continued to clear fallen logs and saplings that were in the muck now that the water level was down and they were exposed. The process of clearing the trees from the muck will be the topic of a separate blog.
October 4th Kodiak came out to lower the water level another foot. This time Tom Hricovec did use the mini backhoe to break into the galvanized spillway pipe, also called a riser pipe, opening it an additional 1 foot. He found a log blocking the spillway pipe that had been lodged in there for a while, so he removed the log to allow water to flow more freely. This did result in the catch basin overflowing into the road right of way grass but not onto the road. I informed the Lot 9 owner of this water and that he wouldn't be able to mow that area for a while. Below is a picture taken October 5th of the lake already down 1 more foot. there are about 4 more feet to go to reach the design level for the dam build up required in the dam restoration plans.
Tom had reported to me that there had been water that overflowed the catch basin, so on the 5th of October I drove down West River Road and saw that the water had already been absorbed into the soil.
Liverpool Township Culvert, Catch Basin Install, October 9, 2013
Bright and early on October 9th, the Liverpool Township Maintenance department began to install the culvert and catch basin which they had ordered from Mack Industries and which I would pay Mack for as soon as the work was done. They brought the culvert from Valley City Builder Supply and deposited it in the right of way.
To facilitate the Liverpool Township culvert/catch basin install, I authorized Liverpool Township to dump the excavated soil onto Lot 10 near my garage. October 10, Liverpool Township began their culvert installation. Starting at the original catch basin they excavated their trench with their backhoe and loaded their dump truck with the excavated clay so they could drive it up to the Lot 10 garage area and dump it. Once they had enough trench dug for a length of culvert, 20 foot, they installed the culvert, covered it with gravel, then replaced some of the soil on top keeping a drainage swale alongside West River Road. This is a picture of the trench in progress. I took this from my car on October 9th while Liverpool Township maintenance was on their lunch break.
Moving forward, Liverpool Township has installed the culvert and catch basin, except for covering the gravel on top of the culvert with the soil on the bank.
This October 10th photo shows the relationship of the catch basin to the utility pole and guard rail. The new spillway will enter this catch basin in the side opposite in this picture. Medina County wanted an emergency spillway lined with fabric to be placed to the left of this catch basin, next to the utility pole, as a measure to gently allow the rising lake, during flood stage to empty into the drainage system. The white temporary culvert I had installed in 2012 will be removed when the dam restoration has been completed by Kodiak.
This view, taken from the south, on the West River Road hill shows the new catch basin relative to the road and the future bank of the dam which will keep this same slope but be extended into the former water area to make the 10-foot dam with proper slopes.
This view, taken from approximately the same location as the view from my car at the beginning of this installation yesterday shows the completed project as viewed from the north.
Final Lowering of the Lake Level for the Restoration, October 14, 2013
Kodiak did his final lake level lowering, putting the lake down 4 foot, 8 inches from its level at the start of this lowering. With the volume of the lake already greatly reduced, this lowering went very smoothly. Ready to begin to clear the muck from the original dam, since Medina County did not want it deposited on the Lakeview property, Tom had made arrangements to haul the removed muck to a home on West River Road that needed clean fill dirt to fill in a small pond in their yard. This home was about 1/2 mile from our project so it made the logistics of removing the muck very simple. With the richness of the years of rotting leaves, the muck would make an excellent garden. Below is a picture of the lake at its final pre-restoration level.
Updates, October, 2013
By October 26, I had picked up scores of limbs that had been buried in the muck at the dam. This picture shows one of the remaining piles of limbs ready to be pulled up the hill. These I loaded into the Mule and drove them up to the burn pile where I would let them dry before burning them. Note that Kodiak has already brought over a dozer. Also note the level of the water versus the dam height. This level was necessary for Kodiak to remove the collected muck from the eroded dam face and rebuild the dam with dry clay.
Medina County’s First Inspection of the Dam Restoration, October 28. 2013
Medina County Engineers had assigned inspector Dan Metz to oversee the dam construction process. He met on-site with me to check on the progress on the project. When Dan came over to where I was working to greet one of the owners, he was surprised to see an elderly woman out on the muck removing the dead trees.
I had reached the area of work having "walked" there by throwing the mortar box (I nicknamed them my "muck boats") ahead one pace, then stepped into that box, pulled the other box out of the mud, threw it ahead one pace, and repeated this process until I could reach the area of the fallen, dead tree that had been trapped into the muck where I would then saw off a portion of the tree, tie a rope to it, work my way back to firm ground, then climb the hill and using a pulley and snatch block I would pull that section to the bank with the Kawasaki Mule. It gave Dan quite a story to tell to the Medina County Engineers office. This picture shows the "muck boats" in place, ready for another muck "walk".