Commissioners are presented with study of Mohawk Dam

| September 23, 2015

COSHOCTON – The commissioners met on Wednesday, Sept. 23 with the US Army Corps of Engineers to discuss an ongoing study of the Mohawk Dam. There is no immediate danger with the structure. The dam was just the next on the list of area dams to be evaluated. The organization is trained to look for weaknesses in the dams and intervene before they become major problems for the surrounding areas.

The Mohawk Dam was built in the 1930s and has a capacity to hold 93 billion gallons of water. The structure has a history of seepage, but that is common. Although it is a dry dam, it has had various pool events throughout its life, the highest being in 2005 when it was within 10 feet of its spillway.

In 2005, the dam received a Dam Safety Action Classification rank of 2 out of 5, which ranked the structure as a high urgency of action. At that time, the organization identified three areas of the dam that needed immediate attention, and those issues were resolved. In 2011, the dam experienced another notably high pool event, although not as high as in 2005.

In 2014, the organization began an Issue Evaluation Study, which is to evaluate a dam’s safety issue found during an incident, inspection, or study to determine if it warrants further actions. The IES identified four potential failure modes, three of which dealt with internal erosion. The other was spillway erosion.

The result of the IES study was that the organization conduct a Dam Safety Modification Study, which is a six-step process that is being conducted now. The study is to identify and recommend a risk management plan which supports the expeditious and cost effective reduction of risk within the overall portfolio of dams. The organization is also working with the River View School District on an emergency action plan in case flooding would occur.

The study also has the geologists look 50 years into the future to determine how the changes they make now to the structure, if any, will affect the structure and surrounding areas 50 years from now. Will the methods they use today still be as effective in 50 years? What is likely to happen in the next 50 years to increase or decrease risks at the Mohawk Dam? The organization not only examines the Mohawk Dam, but the 21,000 acres surrounding it from Tuscarawas County to Dresden.

They also asked the commissioners the chances of current cropland in floodplain areas one day being used as residential or industrial space. Dorothy Skowrunski of the Port Authority was present and said there is a great potential that industries may be moving into the cropland area within the next 50 years.

A public meeting will be held in late February or early March to inform the public about the ongoing study of Mohawk Dam.

The commissioners also met with Steve Lonsinger to sign a letter of support for the 2016 Coshocton Licking Fairfield Perry Solid Waste District Grant Application for the Coshocton County Health Department in the amount of $47,035.40. This is a $7,000 increase over last year.

A Records Commission meeting was held and the commissioners approved the disposal of outdated reports, board books, minutes, handbooks, and newspaper articles from two county agencies. The next Records Commission meeting will be March 9.

Pastor Bill Dunfee of the New Beginnings Ministries also approached the commissioners about the protesters outside of his church. The commissioners informed Dunfee that they have no jurisdiction on what is going on at the church.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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