YOUR INFORMATION NEWSLETTER FROM NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
PAUL G. BUESCHER
~ KEEPING NCT RESIDENTS INFORMED SINCE 2005 ~
#515 TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21, 2017
MORE DISCUSSION ON THE STORM WATER MANAGEMENT PROPOSAL
In fact, I think we should absolutely be the guinea pigs and take a stand. As you yourself mention, storm events are inevitable. It is the responsibility of every community to prepare for these.
Why do you write “impervious” in quotes? Roofs and parking lots are, in fact, impervious surfaces and thus prevent absorption of rainwater; of course, businesses, with parking lots, have a larger responsibility for mitigating rainfall because they always direct it off of their property by means of impervious surfaces.
Finally, the purpose of a riparian setback is to encourage natural vegetation to trap and filter toxic runoff from fertilizers, roadway oil and salt, insecticides, lawn treatments, etc. Its very existence is about leaving these areas to be unmanaged and unmanicured. The goal is to protect the river water that ultimately enters Lake Erie to provide drinking water for millions. Take a look at the city of Toledo’s water supply, put at risk by toxic algae blooms that result from fertilizer runoff, and then reassess the natural solutions that our county has put in place.
Please look at progressive, ecological solutions rather than reactionary fear-mongering.
Before anyone gets all bent out of shape in their reaction to some of my response to the above comment, be it known that I am acting as a “Devil’s Advocate” based on some of the private feedback that I’ve received on this subject. In that context I must respond to the first paragraph in question form … Why should the entire community pay to prepare for storm events when the majority already have by responsibly building or buying their homes in non-flood prone areas? After all, ALL waterways, no matter what their size or capacity, eventually flood so why shouldn’t those who live along those waterways assume the sole responsibility?
I included the word “impervious” in quotes to emphasize its definition and to actually quote it as being used several times during last Thursday’s public hearing. There was never any real or implied denial of its meaning because it is at the very heart of the whole storm water management issue!
I agree with you 100% on the reasons, purposes and benefits of riparian setbacks. The problem that I and others have with the current county regulations and which I have been bringing up since their passage years ago is the clear conflict that they present. On the one hand they prevent property owners from disturbing those areas, including maintenance to prevent blockages in the waterway, which cause backups and flooding. Then, on the other hand, the County refuses to clear the flood-causing blockages that are caused, in part, by their own regulations! This primarily results from uprooted trees that have fallen due to stream bank erosion. We had one resident who spoke at the public hearing who said that he had to hire a crew at his own expense to clear the stream in his backyard. He was upset and stated that he will not do that again.
You suggested that I stay away from “reactionary fear-mongering.” There’s no doubt that I am reactionary – That’s my job when it comes to the possibility of taking money out of the pockets of the residents. But fear-mongering?
When I lived in Twinsburg, a large and vocal group of us foresaw the flooding events unfolding today and we tried warning everyone. I was the founder of the City’s Environmental Commission in 1999 and even won the State of Ohio’s Environmental Watchdog of the Year award for that same year. We warned of the dire consequences of the destruction of our woodlands, wetlands and riparian areas. We also warned against all of the building within flood plains and the destruction and manipulation of our natural waterways. Our warnings and those of many others fell on the deaf ears of our government planners and now they want all of us to pay for THEIR mistakes and ignorance! Fear-mongering? I don’t think so because today the warnings are facts and a band-aid approach to the solution has a very low probability of working.
I don’t have all of the answers and quite frankly, I don’t believe that the County does either. We’ve all been Guinea Pigs for quite some time and I don’t want to extend that status any further. I feel that we should let someone else try this storm water management idea first before deciding if it has a chance of working for us.
MORE DISCUSSION ON GENERATORS
I see you are suggesting for people to get generators for when their power goes out. I have had a generator for probably 17 or 18 of the 20 years I have lived here in the township. They are a great tool to have. I just think everyone needs to be advised, that if they do buy a generator, for safety reasons, there is more to go along with the generator in order to use it safely and effectively for your home. I also put in a transfer box in the basement next to my main electrical box.
A transfer box will let you run the necessary lights and appliances you really need. Also it would be a good idea to have an electrician wire up the transfer box. I have to wheel my generator out of my garage to the side of my house where I have an electrical box to plug the generator into. When I need my generator, I shut off the main switch on my main electrical box so there will be no feed back thru the lines. Fire up the generator and then switch on what I want to run from the transfer box. Please feel free to use anything I have said above, and thank you again for all you do.
When I wrote about the generators I wrote in very general terms to elicit interest in the subject. As a 30-year retired industrial electrician, I should have been a little more specific on safety as you pointed out.
There are three types of generator installations that I can think of at the moment. The first is the most popular whereby the power goes out and a person pulls out their generator and starts it up. They then plug in extension cords and run them into the house to power various loads that they deem necessary until the power comes back on. The only safety concern here is to make sure the generator is OUTSIDE to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home.
The second type is similar to the first except that the generator is being used to back feed into the home through the existing house wiring. In this case, the main circuit breaker MUST BE SHUT OFF prior to the back feeding. Failure to do so will result in damage to your generator because you would be attempting to power your entire neighborhood. More importantly however, you could electrocute a lineman who is trying to restore power! Unless you know exactly what you are doing, it is strongly recommended that anyone using their generator in this manner to have a certified electrician install a transfer switch. This switch automatically isolates your home and generator from the power lines.
The third type is the most expensive but safest system. This involves the professional and permanent installation of a 10,000-watt or higher generator. These systems, like the well-known Generac models, run on your natural gas supply and turn on automatically when the power goes down. It’s a hands-off system that I highly recommend for those who do not know much about electrical systems but who want to be prepared when the need arises.
I would also like to mention that solar power is becoming more popular and the equipment costs are actually coming down. I designed and built my own 5kw system, which is powering my computer as I write this. Instead of a transfer switch, I utilized 8 industrial relays that instantly switch from commercial power to the solar system. The action occurs so quickly that the computer never even ‘sees’ the switch over. There have actually been cases when the power went out and I didn’t even know it until I received phone calls asking if I know why the power went out! I just thought I would add this in. It never hurts to be even overly prepared for the unexpected!
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q >>> – When are the meetings that residents can come to.
A >>> – Our regular Trustees meetings are normally held on the first Monday of each month at 7PM at our Townhall. All other meetings such as special meetings or public hearings, are held on an as needed basis and are announced on our Township’s website, Facebook, cable 1023 and on the park sign.
Q >>> – The fire hydrant closest to our house had caution tape all around it. I assume this means it is not usable. (Note – it is just an assumption.) Who can I contact to ask what is going on with this fire hydrant? It has been wrapped with caution tape for over 5 months now. Thanks for your help.
A >>> – I contacted the necessary parties on your behalf and then called you on the phone. While we were on the phone I received a call back on the other line reporting that the Water Board will be sending someone out to check on the problem. Apparently, the Fire Department must have found a problem while they were conducting their flushing and maintenance on that hydrant. We don’t know why it’s taken five-months to fix the problem but we now have someone taking care of it.
Q1 >>> – After reading your information on generators, which I found very informative, I was wondering what the law is regarding running them late at night? I’m sure that there would be those who would complain since they are quite loud.
Q2 >>> – If I run my generator thru the night am I violating any noise ordinances?
A >>> – Under emergency conditions some laws and regulations become moot. Let’s take the recent November 5th storm for an example. Power was out throughout our region and many homes suffered severe damage and upwards of a hundred roads were blocked by downed trees and wires. Many generators were fired up for lighting, life-sustaining medical equipment, preventing food from spoiling, etc. Where do you think a call complaining of generator noise would fall on the priority list? I can tell you from informed law enforcement sources that nobody would even respond to such an extremely low priority call during the emergency conditions that we all experienced two weeks ago!
Q >>> – There is a streetlight out at Old 8 and Butternut. Can you get it fixed?
A >>> – We contacted First Energy and the light is now on their repair list.
Q >>> – Good evening, Sorry to bother you – but do you have any information as to when the branches from the storm will be chipped? Thanks in advance.
A >>> – The branch chipping is an ongoing project in conjunction with the leaf pickups. Our Service Department has been working overtime with additional help that was called in. They will keep at it until the job is done but there is no scheduled finish time. Residents are asked to be patient due to the unprecedented scope of this work.
YOUR GENERAL COMMENTS
NOTE – If you would like your name to appear under your Comments, please type the word “Signed” next to your name
My husband and I appreciate your newsletter. We are big supporters of you since we have moved to Northfield Center, ten years ago . We don’t make it to the meetings very often due to work and other obligations and again that is why we appreciate the newsletter that you take the time to write, meticulously, I might add. What I appreciate is the facts and we can decide on our own.
It is too bad that more people didn’t show up to vote. We have to be careful where are money is being spent because those of us with a mortgage and a family cannot just have our taxes go up for political agendas. We all want great schools, a safe community and services that will benefit our residents, and as we all know, it cost money. I feel you watch the money and that we, the residents, get a good return for our dollar. Thank you, for everything you do for the residents of Northfield Center.
Thank you for the news letter. It is helpful, especially to new residents. I noted last week the upcoming hearing with the county engineers office regarding storm water Managment. I hoped I would be up to attending, but was not yet when the time came.
The evening of the storm, Sunday, November 5, I was returning from a friend on Highland Drive in Brecksville. The storm blew through while we were there and on the return we were obstructed by many fallen trees.
My neighbor on Shady lane called us on the road to let me know there was a tree down in my driveway. All the power was out except for my house because I have a Generac. The only problem is while trying to clear the road so we can get home I fell and ended up breaking my wrist and going to the hospital never getting to enjoy the benefit of my generator. I ended up having surgery on the 10th and have not been doing very much. So I am sorry I missed a very important meeting of which I have great concern however I’m sure you’ll make the right decision. That said, it sounds like the summit county needs a lesson in financial planning.
My wife convinced me to buy a generator 2 years ago and we finally used it on Nov 6TH. Happened to go to Lowes that morning and there was a sign on the door saying “no more generators” … I felt vindicted and want to thank my wife for her intuition.
Paul G. Buescher
Northfield Center Twp. Trustee – Chairman