May 29, 2016

Mostly cloudy

County to share pipe burden with property owner

MEDINA — Medina County commissioners Monday approved sharing the cost of replacing a storm water drainage pipe in Brunswick Hills Township that has caused flooding on Boston Road.

A narrow drainage pipe on Richard Lehnecker’s property, 4700 Boston Road, has been contributing to flooding across the road, which is the county’s border with Strongsville, in Cuyahoga County.

Strongsville road crews have been replacing damaged culverts on their side for several years, even though the problem has come from the Medina County side.

Medina County Engineer Mike Salay said state law makes Lehnecker liable for the full $11,600 cost of replacing the pipe with a larger line. But because portions of the flooded area are the public right-of-way, the county can justify paying for more than half of the cost.

Earlier this month, Salay proposed to the county that it split the cost of the project with Lehnecker, who agreed to the deal last week.

The agreement calls for the county to pay the entire cost of the project and be reimbursed by Lehnecker for his $5,100 share through assessments on his property taxes.

The property was taxed at roughly $2,200 per half in 2012, so Lehnecker could be looking at payments of $2,700 into 2018.

Lehnecker could not be reached for comment Monday.

Plans call for replacing the 15-inch pipe with a line 36 inches in diameter.

While other drain pipes along the road also are too narrow, Salay said Lehnecker’s property poses a unique problem. A watershed pipe for a nearby creek also sits on Lehnecker’s property less than 20 feet back from the drainage pipe.

If the larger pipe doesn’t end the flooding, Salay said another pipe may be needed under the driveway.

Salay said Lehnecker would be responsible for paying for that additional work.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or