Mike Settles, the Media Relations Coordinator for the Ohio EPA’s Public Interest Center, replied to questions posed by Northeast Ohio Golf about the Munson Township trustee’s application to receive funding for the purchase of Fowlers Mill Golf Course, to then convert it to a park for water quality issues.
Settles’ reply disputes one very important fact presented in the story written by the Lake County News Herald: no decision has been made regarding the proposal, and no money has been given to anyone.
“While the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is sponsoring the project and it does qualify for partial funding, a final decision is not expected before October,” says Settles. “The Fowler’s Mill proposal is one of more than a dozen Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) projects under consideration for funding.”
Note that Munson Township is not the only backer of the request, according to Settles. The proposal is also sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.
But it’s important to note that there is still time to let your voice be heard to fight the funding of the project by the Ohio EPA: a decision on the proposal won’t be made until October.
“As part of the assessment of environmental impacts associated with the Fowler’s Mill proposal, the public can submit comments for consideration by the Ohio EPA,” offered Settles. “These comments can be sent via email to Bob Monsarrat, and all comments will be considered prior to a final decision on the proposal.”
So golfers can weigh in on what they think about the tax-dollar purchase and closing of Fowlers Mill Golf Course — and that case can be made directly to the money source behind the proposal.
Time to send those emails…
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ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: the following paragraph is the applicant’s “description of the project” as submitted to Ohio EPA.
“The Fowler’s Mill Conservation Project is one of the most significant actions that can be taken to restore the water quality of the Chagrin River. The Geauga Park District proposes to buy approximately 458 acres that is currently operated as the Fowler’s Mill Golf Course (the “Property”) in Munson Township. This exceptional project would protect and restore of over 4 miles (21,499 linear feet) of rivers and headwater streams, including 1.22 miles (6,457 linear feet) of the main stem of the Chagrin River (which is a designated State Scenic River along this stretch) and 2.85 miles (15,042 linear feet) of headwater streams. In addition, the project will protect 33.8 acres of wetlands. The Property is adjacent to and upstream from the Geauga Park District’s 603-acre Rookery Reserve, which is home to three threatened species or species of concern: the spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle, and brook trout. The ecological integrity of the Fowler’s Mill Property is extremely important to the water quality of the Rookery. When completed, this project and the Rookery will provide continuous protection of 2.74 miles (14,457 linear feet) of the main stem of the Chagrin River. “