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Brimfield Lake Owners Try to Save Dam after Reclassification

Drone footage of Brimfield Lake from May 2017 shows the dam and homes near the lake.
Drone footage of Brimfield Lake from May 2017 shows the dam and homes near the lake.

Owners of a private lake in Brimfield are trying to figure out a way to save it.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources re-classified the dam on Brimfield Lake as having a higher risk of casualties in the case of flooding. Now, owners have to pay for the development of an emergency action plan, an EAP, which they estimate will cost $15,000.

If they don’t, the lake could be drained and the dam demolished, which Brimfield Lake Association President Matt Pruszynski said would harm property values.

“I got contacted from several realtors of people buying houses, and that was specifically why they wanted to buy a house in the neighborhood," he said. "I don’t want to sound like I’m exaggerating, but … each house that’s on the lake is probably going to decrease in value probably $20 to 30,000.”

Pruszynski said the lake also provides recreation and habitats for wildlife that would be lost.

Because new homes were built around the lake, the dam was reclassified as aClass 1 dam,which requires a professional engineer and surveyor to make the EAP.

The lake association has started a GoFundMe to help pay for the costs.

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Anna joined ideastream in 2019, where she reports on health news for WCPN and WVIZ in Cleveland. She has also served as an associate producer for NewsDepth. Before that, Anna was a 2019 Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
Gershon Harrell, is a junior journalism major at Kent State University. He was a diversity reporter and features writer for the Kent Stater, the student-run newspaper, for two semesters. Gershon has a passion for storytelling and aspires to be a features writer, telling the stories of people and the ever changing culture.