CELINA — In an effort to increase aeration in Grand Lake St. Marys, the Lake Improvement Association will be offering financial assistance to homeowners who want to participate in a new project.
The program will offer a maximum of $500 each for up to 20 projects this year. The money will help defray the costs of aeration systems homeowners can purchase to increase circulation in dead-end channels along Grand Lake St. Marys.
“We’ve been saying how can we give back to our members,” LIA Board Member Dave Eyink said during Saturday’s meeting. “This is something that can help improve water quality.”
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will sign off on the final projects because the lake is a state-owned entity. All operational costs will be assumed by the homeowners.
“Brian Miller has spoken many times that he would like to see aeration installed,” Eyink said. “We are going to go through, review the proposals, and the board will be the final say ... It’s unlikely if you have a project that is laid out that it will not be accepted.”
If the LIA receives more than 20 requests at $500 a piece, those people will be put on a a waiting list. The aeration devices range in cost from approximately $800 up to $4,000.
“It’s relatively straight forward,” Eyink said of the application process. “It should be an easy thing and I hope it’s something that everyone is excited about.”
The LIA also unveiled plans for a tree program to replace the hundreds of ash trees that were cut down because of the emerald ash borer. Dave Meyer, of the LIA, said he is in the process of compiling a list of trees that will be available for planting next year. The trees will cost approximately $150 each.
“Trees are expensive,” Meyer said. “Trees are at a premium now ... People are planting and planting and trees are in demand.”
State crews as well as volunteers from the LIA will be planting the trees next year. Meyer called on LIA members who want to help with the cause to volunteer their time.
Those who want to donate can find more information at the LIA website at LakeImprovement.com.
LIA President Tim Lovett touched upon a pair of topics regarding the lake. Work on the wetlands should start by the end of the month. SolarBees, a circulation device, should start appearing in the lake in the coming weeks. The devices will help circulate water, which will increase dissolved oxygen levels in the lake.
“It looks like another good project to move some water around,” Lovett said.
The next meeting of the LIA is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 4 at the Celina Moose Lodge.