Mayfield Village gets grant to reforest property cleared in 1925 for wastewater plant

MAYFIELD, Ohio — The village has received a grant to reforest property that was cleared back in 1925 to make room for a then-proposed wastewater treatment plant.

The village-owned property, 3.25 acres near Bonnieview and Beech Hill roads, shifted use in the 1970s when it became a pump station. For its use as a pump station, a one-million-gallon wastewater storage tank was installed at the site. Although the tank and all equipment related to the pump station were removed in July, 1997, the property has remained largely barren.

In a March 11 letter to residents living near the site, Mayor Brenda Bodnar explained that the property was eligible for the grant because it borders a tributary to the Chagrin River.

“We do not anticipate that the planting process will cause any disruption to the neighborhood, but wanted to make residents aware of the project,” Bodnar told residents in the letter.

The grant will include the installation of 400, one-gallon container native shrubs and plants; 300, three-gallon container native shrubs and plants; and 15, one-and-a-half-inch caliper trees. All of the planting will come with deer protection.

In addition, 3.25 acres of native seeding will be planted, while some invasive vegetation will be removed. Watering and post-planting maintenance are also included.

In 2019, Village Council approved a resolution to participate in a grant application with five other local communities to reforest riparian habitat areas in Central Lake Erie Basin watersheds. That action led to the recent grant approval.

MAD Scientist Associates, of Westerville, Ohio, was the project’s successful bidder and will plant the shrubs and trees, with a completion date of June 30. Bodnar, however, stated her belief that the work will be carried out in April and May.

The grant comes via the village’s collaboration with Chagrin River Watershed Partners and the Central Lake Erie Basin Collaborative. Mayfield Service Director Scott Sipos and the village’s Urban Forester, Frank Stupczy, worked with CRWP to secure the grant and will oversee the work.

“I congratulate them on their efforts to restore this parcel of land to its natural beauty and look forward to seeing the transformation of this area,” Bodnar stated.

Fireworks

Like many other communities, Mayfield is expected to opt out of Ohio House Bill 172, which will permit state residents to shoot off fireworks. HB 172, which goes into effect on July 1, allows Ohio communities to opt out and not allow residents to light fireworks.

“We already have an ordinance that prevents fireworks on residential properties,” Bodnar said. “The state of Ohio changed their law, but we’re just keeping our own law. We’ll have to tweak it a bit so it covers the state ordinance. But nothing’s really changing (in Mayfield).”

The ordinance opting out of HB 172 may appear on Monday’s (March 21) Village Council agenda. University Heights, Cleveland Heights and South Euclid have all opted out of HB 172, while Pepper Pike and Richmond Heights are among the local communities now discussing opting out.

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