Tuesday, September 17, 2013



On March 28th of this North Canton Council President Jon Snyder brought to North Canton's Civic Center a number of officials to address the city's Zimber Ditch generated flooding problem which has been going on for years and years.

Zimber has been - increasingly - a problem for a variety of reasons.  A number of them include:
  • It gets clogged up by debris that as a matter of nature falls into the waterway,
  • It gets clogged up by neighboring residents dumping various materials into the channel,
  • It has to handle more water than it was originally designed for because more and more nearby asphalt and concrete part and parcel ofcommerical and residential development become conduits in shifting rain waters into the Zimber drain.
And, of course, there are other contributory reasons.

So those who live in the vicinity of  Lucille and Glendale in North Canton have had their fill of flooding and have beseeched city hall to do something now to solve the problem.

The ditch itself is not going to get fixed anytime soon because it would be a mammoth financial project running in the millions upon million upon millions of dollars to do so.

Proving that one "persisting leadership" man can make a difference, Councilman Snyder responded in bringing together at the meeting of the 28th:
  • State Rep. Kirk Schuring (Republican - Jackson Township) whose 48th Ohio House District includes North Canton
  • Steve Ferryman and Josh Stigmon of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Emergency Management Division,
  • Director Tim Warstler of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency, and
  • Bob Fonte the executive director of the Stark Parks (who, himself, is a hydraulics engineer)

And Snyder has kept up with his effort.

At last night's regular North Canton City Council meeting, Snyder was the bearer of some good news for many of the folks who get flooded out frequently by the overflowing Zimber.

North Canton is in line to get about $1.5 million dollars ($30,000 from council, $60,000 from the Stark commissioners, $100,000 from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, $1.125 in a state of Ohio federally funded grant and, presumably, the rest from Stark Parks) to buy out properties in the vicinity so that they can be razed to allow Zimber to overflow its banks when the big rains/flash floods come and perhaps lessen the problem

Some 10 to 13 homes a currently set for buyout, but depending on what effect the razing of the first batch, other could follow if city officials can find additional funds.

The city will follow up with a second round request for a federally funded state grant in hopes od doubling its money to apply to the Zimber Ditch problem.

A public meeting is scheduled at the North Canton Civic Center for September 26th at 7:00 p.m. so that officials can explain the specifics of their remediation plan to North Cantonians, one-on-one.

Insofar as the SCPR is concerned Snyder is "the main man" in getting a solution underway for the unfortunate North Canton residents.  However, he was quick to share with The Report his gratitude of having many state, Stark County and federal (including Congressmen Jim Renacci, Republican - Wadsworth - the 16th congressional district) work with him and each other.

At the session immediately prior to the regular council meeting, President Snyder explained the grant received from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and took questions from council members.

Snyder's taking the lead on working to finding a solution to the perennial flooding experienced by North Cantonians adjacent to the Zimber Ditch is impressive.

But The Report has seen quite a number of Stark County public officials start off a project with a lot of "vim, vigor and vitality" only to get fatigued in the process and end up giving up on the project.

That Snyder is "staying the course and "seeing this project through" should be an inspiration and a model to his peers across Stark Connty's local governments.

It appears to the SCPR that North Canton is doing the realistic thing in fashioning a solution to the flooding problem.

Fixing the ditch itself is definitely long term and will take many millions of dollars.

For a few million, North Canton local government, working with local, state and federal officials, have shown North Cantonians that government can be responsive to the needs of its citizens.

A SCPR "Hats Off!" to North Canton Council, its council president and the Mayor David Held administration but with a special "Tip-of-the-Hat" to the president - Jon Snyder - for putting this team effort together and keeping the team on task.

As the saying goes:  "there is no 'I' in the word TEAM."

And Jon Snyder - in this instance - amply personifies what team work is all about!

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