City secures easement for dam repairs
Property owner to receive $1,000
By Bert Lehman
When the city of Clintonville begins repair work on the Pigeon River Dam, it plans to place a crane and stage material on the north side of the dam on property owned by Joseph Hamblin.
Hamblin signed a temporary limited easement agreement, or a TLE, on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
A week earlier, city officials were uncertain if the agreement would get signed.
If the city did not come to terms for a temporary limited easement with Hamblin, it would have had to place a crane on the south side of the dam by the Clintonville Fire Station. This option would have required a larger crane and increased the costs of the project.
“This is going to allow the city to have the dam repairs done in a much cheaper way and provide easier and better access to the dam,” Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the Clintonville Finance Committee of the TLE agreement at its Sept. 10 meeting.
Eveland told the committee that the city originally thought it would be able to reach a TLE agreement with Hamblin where it would not cost the city anything.
“Then we started having some more conversations this summer,” Eveland said. “Mr. Hamblin was requesting the city perform a significant amount of work on his property in order to grant us the TLE access.”
Eveland said she and Clintonville Public Works Director Kray Brown discussed Hamblin’s requests, and neither felt it was feasible to meet those requests. Instead, Eveland offered Hamblin, pending council approval, a cash payment of $1,000 for the TLE. This cost would come out of the dam repair funds the city has secured.
Other conditions of the TLE include a locking gate on the section above the dam to prevent people from using the dam as a walkway.
“That dam does go directly on his property so when people use that bridge they’re on private property the moment they step off of it,” Eveland said. “Also, there really shouldn’t be anyone on that bridge anyways. It’s not a foot bridge. It’s not meant for public access. This will restrict it to authorized access only.”
Eveland said an assessment of the property to gauge the condition of the property is an issue. This would be done prior to the start of dam repairs, so any damage caused to the property during the dam repairs would need to be repaired by the city.
“There seems to be a little bit of an access issue with getting the access to the inside of the building,” Eveland said. “I don’t feel comfortable recommending that we have any sort of guarantee or liability to the building itself when we can’t do a full assessment of the interior.”
The Clintonville Streets Committee at its Sept. 6 meeting recommended approval of the TLE, with the stipulation that “the city relinquishes all responsibility to any damages that may occur to the building in question without a full inspection of the interior and exterior of the building.”
“So in other words, if he doesn’t grant us access and we can’t get inside that building then the city is not going to be responsible for damages to the building,” Eveland told the finance committee.
“We really want to have access from the north side to get in there with a smaller crane and make it more efficient to work there,” said committee member Jim Supanich.
The finance committee unanimously approved the street committee’s recommendation.
The city council on Sept. 11 unanimously approved the TLE, including the condition added by the streets committee regarding the city’s liability if it cannot inspect the interior of the building.