ABOUT CITIZENS FOR YELLOW CREEK
 Our Story The Citizens for Yellow Creek (CYC) recently formed to oppose the Yellow Creek Foundation’s efforts to create a conservancy district. While members of the Citizens for Yellow Creek recognize the importance of protecting and preserving the Yellow Creek Watershed and addressing storm water issues inherent to the watershed, they believe the costs associated with an independent conservancy district outweigh the benefits. In opposing the conservancy district concept, the Citizens for Yellow Creek take issue with both the autonomous nature of a board that would govern the district, as well as fees that would be assessed against everyone in the watershed for localized damage resulting from storm water; essentially what they see as “taxation without representation.” Further, this group believes the cost of implementing a conservancy district management plan and the autonomous nature of the independent board would outweigh the possible benefits. The process for formation of a conservancy district, per the Ohio Revised Code, requires nothing more than presenting a common pleas court judge with jurisdiction in the watershed (in this case both a Summit and Medina County Common Pleas court judge) with a petition of 500 signatures from property owners living within the watershed. A public hearing is then held on the merits of watershed conservancy district formation, after which the judge renders a decision. If formation of a conservancy district is approved, ALL properties within the watershed, ir¬respective of political boundary, distance from stream, elevation, storm-water prac¬tices or amount of permeable surfaces, ALL properties will be included in the district and under the jurisdiction of that conservancy judge. ALL properties can then be assessed fees – these will include costs for the operation of the district board, its administration and management, as well as costs incurred for formalized plan (s) and plan implementation throughout the watershed – that will be added to every property owner’s property tax bill. Now, by its very name, a conservancy district sounds appealing, with stated purposes – among others – to prevent flooding, regulate stream channels and the flow of streams to conserve their waters, etc. But while sounding appealing, a conservancy district is essentially an unelected bureaucracy. The conservancy judge will appoint a Board of Directors (who can draw a salary) which will be responsible for administering day-to-day operations of the district, creating an annual budget, developing the district plan, appointing staff, selecting consultants and potentially expanding this unelected, autonomous layer of bureaucracy. Perhaps most distressing is that this district, this bureaucracy, will have the right of eminent domain AND the ability to assess “user fees” (in this case, there has been discussion of a 0.3-mill levy as the “initial” levy to fund only the development of a plan; the potential cost for any plan implementation in completely unknown.). The conservancy has the right to even issue bonds (long-term debt) on EVERY property owner in the district – all of this with no accountability to those property owners and no required input from any of those property owners or from any elected government officials! At the least, this is taxation without representation. It is creating an autonomous, governing board that can then decide the work to be performed – and at a collective cost only they determine – for those most impacted by flooding and erosion within the watershed. At its worst, it could benefit the few (those with property along the creek and most impacted by flooding and erosion) who may have their property damages/improvements/enhanced value paid for by the many (everybody else living within the watershed). We object to the ability of the few (with just those 500 signatures) to impact the lives of so many (thousands of property owners) in the nine affected communities without local control, community consent or legal jurisdiction. Those nine communities include parts of Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Bath Township, Richfield Village, Richfield Township, Fairlawn, Copley, Sharon and Granger. Mission Statement Citizens for Yellow Creek (CYC) is a group of concerned citizens who acknowledge the need to preserve and protect the Yellow Creek Watershed, but who oppose the formation of the Yellow Creek Watershed Conservancy District as the best way to accomplish that goal. Our Mission is to: -Educate residents and business owners within the Yellow Creek Watershed how the establishment of a conservancy district would negatively affect them; -Explain alternatives to the creation of a conservancy district; -Make the case that establishment of a conservancy district would add an unaccountable, unelected bureaucracy that would burden all property owners within the watershed; -clarify how a conservancy district would serve the interest of a few property owners at the expense of every other property owner within the watershed; and -Defeat the establishment of a watershed conservancy district by all means available to CYC.
Our Strategy is to: -Obtain signatures of at least 500 registered voters within the watershed on a petition in opposition to the establishment of a watershed conservancy district; this petition, once vetted, would be presented in court to provide a counterweight to any petition presented proposing such establishment; -Write letters to property owners within the watershed explaining our position, and educating property owners about what the negative effects would be if a watershed conservancy district were to be established; -Write letters to government officials (especially Bath Township Trustees) in opposition to the formation of a Conservancy District -Obtain the names and addresses of signers of a petition in favor of a conservancy district and contact them to make sure they understand the possible negative consequences of establishing a watershed conservancy district, so that they may withdraw their names from that petition if they choose; -Advertise in publications within the watershed to explain the negative consequences of a watershed conservancy district, and alternatives that may be available. More information ? Contact: Amy Bowers – abowers27@roadrunner.com Henry Holtkamp – hholtkamp@aol.com Ed Hoyle – enh@frontier.com Jody Miller Konstand – jmkmedia@msn.com Tony Tricomi – articomi@pfidisplays.com
7-25-17 Bath Water & Sewer District Statement about Yellow Creek Watershed

 

 

BATH TOWNSHIP  WATER & SEWER DISTRICT

 

Stephen J.Schreiber

Chairman

3864 West Bath Road

Akron.Ohio 44333

Telephone 330.666.4007.Ext. 1505

Fax 330.666.0305

 

 

For Immediate Release:

July 25, 2017

 

 

 

In the July 17th, 2017 6:00 PM regular meeting of the Bath Water and Sewer District, by unanimous vote, the Board took official position against the proposed  formation of the Yellow Creek Watershed Conservancy District.

 

The attached letter outlines the decision of the Board.

BATH TOWNSHIP  WATER & SEWER DISTRICT

 

Stephen J.Schreiber

Chairman

3864 West Bath Road

Akron. Ohio 44333

 

 

 

BATH TOWNSHIP  WATER & SEWER DISTRICT

 

Stephen J.Schreiber

Chairman

3864 West Bath Road

Akron. Ohio 44333

 

July 25, 2017

 

Bath Township Trustees

3864 W. Bath Road

Akron, Ohio 44333

 

Dear Trustees:

Telephone 330.666.4007.Ext. 1505

Fax 330.666.0305

 

 

 

The  Board  of  the  Bath  Township  Water  and  Sewer  District  (BTWSD) opposes  the formation of the Yellow Creek Watershed Conservancy District (YCWCD).

 

B1WSD  has  jurisdiction for  water line  extensions within  the  District   The  YCWCD proposes to obtain that responsibility. BTWSD will not defer that responsibility to another agency. The YCWCD Board would be appointed without election by residents and would implement a 0.3-Milllevy without a vote by residents. BTWSD opposes the creation of this district that would lack citizen oversight.

 

The BTWSD is not currently responsible for storm water management. We do not see that changing in the foreseeable future. However, we encourage the trustees to investigate other options  for storm  water managetnent in the  township. The  Summit County Engineers office proposal for a Surface Water Management District is the most responsive and reasonable approach in its current form before Summit County Council.

 

Respectfully,

 

The Board of the Bath Township Water and Sewer District

 

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