Girard Residents Want Lakes Reopened - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Girard Residents Want Lakes Reopened

They've been closed for years but now some people in Girard want them to be re-opened.

It was a packed house at a Girard city council meeting Monday night. Many came to show their support of re-opening the upper and lower lakes.

Both are now overgrown and closed to any visitors but it seems people still trespass on the property.

The lower lake was drained years ago because of a deteriorating damn that would have cost millions to replace or fix.

But now a group called Sustainable Girard 2023, that's about a hundred or so members strong, wants council to explore ways to at least get the upper lakes re-opened by later this summer.

Boy scout group even came to say they'd volunteer to help clean up the areas.

The spokesperson for the "Reopen our Lakes Committee" says Girard should have never closed them.  "The agreements were not met with ODNR to fix that damn to maintain the lake and its surrounding properties," says Andrea Peduzzi.

But Girard's mayor says the city just can't afford it. he says the costs for insurance and safety patrols would be way too much.

Mayor James Melfi says, "You obviously have serious security concerns and there are enormous costs associated with that it's not just a matter of opening the gate and saying hey everybody go ahead in that is reckless and we won't do that."

Melfi says infrastructure costs for the upper lake alone would be between $400,000-$700,000.

He says he'll meet with the group to talk about it. They say they aren't taking "no" for an answer.

"Our next plan to to go and contact the state ODNR because we are in violation to maintain our lakes our water and sewer rates pay for that lake," says Peduzzi.

Peduzzi hopes the state will eventually pitch in the money needed to repair or replace the dam as well as other infrastructure costs.

But because of soaring costs for all the general services the city already pays for Melfi says any reopening is years away, if at all.

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