City has mishandled Wetland A situation

To the editor:

The geniuses at Oberlin city hall never cease to amaze me on how they have handled the drainage problem since 2008 at the so-called Wetland A.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is extremely simple. You block any pre-existing waterway anywhere and the water will back up until it finds an outlet. When this railroad bed was constructed over 100 years ago, does anyone really think that the engineers would knowingly block a known waterway and periodically tolerate rising water levels during storm events to spill over the top of the bed? Not likely.

Prior to 2008, the water pool on the west side of the bed was normally a foot deep and about 30 feet in diameter. That’s because the 100-year-old pipe was working, albeit slowly, and kept the water level low until 2008 and misdirected Oberlin officials entered the scene. Now the trees are dying that are confined to year-round standing water (approximately three feet deep and three acres) and the adjacent wires are in danger of being knocked down.

Wetland A is not a true wetland. The city has cheerfully spent approximately $25,000 on a project that could have been fixed for a fraction of that and equally important saved the trees. The Environmental Protection Agency never had to be involved. Like Steve Dupee state to me a couple of years ago: “This is simply a maintenance issue.” Bravo, Steve. But nobody listened! Oberlin, unplug your pipe!

Bert Latran Jr.

Pittsfield Township