GIRARD, Ohio - It was a packed house at a Girard city council meeting Monday, with many in attendance to show their support of reopening the Upper and Lower Lakes.
Both lakes 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, with about over one hundred members, wants council to explore ways to at least get the upper lakes re-opened by later this summer.
Boy scout groups even came to say they'd volunteer to help clean up the areas.
The spokesperson for the "reopen our lakes committee," Andrea Peduzzi, said that 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," Peduzzi said.
But Girard's mayor, James Melfi, said the city just can't afford it; the costs for insurance and safety patrols would be way too much.
"You obviously have serious security concerns and there are enormous costs associated with that," Melfi said. "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 said infrastructure costs for the upper lake alone would be between $400,000 to $700,000.
The mayor said he will meet with the committee to talk about it, but they say they aren't taking no for an answer.