Dear Editor,

The Miami County Commissioners have spent the last few months listening to expert witnesses covering various topics regarding the proposed City of Golden.

One session covered alternative solutions to protect the area from the invasion of the warehouses across the county line. The Commissioners concluded that there is nothing they can do except to allow the incorporation of Golden.

Another session was to study the effect the warehouses are having on Hillsdale Lake. In that session they invited Lesley Rigney, the District Manager of the Miami County Conservation District, to speak on this matter. She is truly the expert when it comes to Hillsdale Lake. The following is a summary of the excerpt by the County of testimony she gave to the commissioners:

“I wanted to talk to you about the impact that the warehouse development is having on the watershed and I hope you guys will consider the consequences this type of development will have. From a watershed and conservation standpoint, it’s important to note that with the newest annexation and rezoning, impervious coverage (the portion of the lot, which is covered by a structure, material, or other fixed physical element that does not allow the infiltration of ground water at the same rate of flow under natural conditions) is set to reach 20 percent. The 20 percent threshold in the Bull Creek subwatershed, which is a nearly 30,000-acre area, and is the most critical subwatershed of Hillsdale Lake. While small streams and sensitive habitats may show adverse impacts at 5 to 10 percent impervious cover, the 20 percent threshold is widely accepted as a critical benchmark where a cascade of impairments start to be realized. These impairments include the disruption of groundwater recharge, increased volume and velocity of storm water beyond the capacity of stream systems to handle, increased temperatures of runoff, pollutant loading, and many others. These new impairments threaten all the designated uses of the lake but immediately and especially the ability of the tributaries to support aquatic life and to safely allow body contact recreation in the lake itself. We are not pleading for no development, but what we are asking for and encouraging is a natural resources assessment of the impacts of the proposed development and a new current regional and inclusive plan to ensure that the watershed and the lake itself are not any further adversely impacted by the development. This is complex but there are well-accepted and proven methods to mitigate the impact of this development on streams and other resources, including things such as constructed wetlands, green roofs and other best management practices to hold storm water on site, treat it and allow for groundwater recharge. None of these practices are being utilized on these sites currently. The last really inclusive regional plan that included natural resources considerations was done back in 2012. This means there is no plan that has been a participatory process that is guiding this development or informing this development. So the idea that there is a plan is incorrect.” — Lesley Rigney

You decide. After reading her letter, would you come to the same conclusion as the County Commissioners that allowing Warehouses to be built in Miami County poses no threat to Hillsdale Lake?

Dennis Koch

Spring Hill

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