In spring 2019, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) determined that the existing Horseshoe Lake Dam was structurally deficient. As a Class 1 dam, a sudden failure of Horseshoe Lake Dam could cause significant property damage and potential loss of life downstream. For this reason, ODNR directed our cities to almost fully drain Horseshoe Lake and keep it drained.
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NEORSD’s restoration of the Doan Brook to its natural state will result in a new and more natural greenspace for the community. Residents are encouraged to view NEORSD’s June 15 presentation or this video, which provides an overview of the recommendations and examples of NEORSD’s stream restoration work, including the complete restoration of the Doan Brook in University Circle near the Cleveland Museum of Art.
This new greenspace will provide an opportunity to create a new recreational amenity for the community to enjoy. The City is committed to working with residents through a public process to explore the possibilities for this new amenity; the City is also committed to seeking funding to help bring the community’s vision to reality.
Yes. A walking path will remain.
The park will not change. Picnic pavilions, the playground, and the pathways will remain.
NEORSD is committed to paying $28.3 million to remove the dam at Horseshoe Lake, restore the stream bed and construct a new dam at Lower Lake and some maintenance costs for both Horseshoe Lake and Lower Lake.
The breakdown of costs is $13.6 million for the Lower Lake improvements and $14.7 million for the Horseshoe Lake improvements. These improvements would be funded through NEORSD's regional stormwater management program due to the regional benefits that the improvements provide. Note: NEORSD will not contribute $14.7 million to the cities to offset the cost to rebuild a dam at Horseshoe Lake because their studies have determined there is no significant regional stormwater benefit to keeping the dam and therefore Horseshoe Lake.
The cost to the City will be zero. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) will fund the entire cost of its recommended plan for Horseshoe Lake and Lower Lake through its Regional Stormwater Management Program. The estimated cost is $28.3 million. This program is funded through stormwater fees on monthly sewer bills paid by residents in NEORSD’s 60-plus member communities. Learn more at neorsd.org/shakerlakes.
NEORSD’s Regional Stormwater Management Program addresses problems related to stormwater runoff from hard surfaces. Runoff contributes to regional stream flooding, erosion, and water-quality issues, and the Program works to address stormwater problems that cross community boundaries. Due to the impacts downstream of flooding in the Shaker Lakes, this project is covered under the Regional Stormwater Management Program.
The estimated cost to rebuild Horseshoe Lake dam and manage the sediment is $20.7 million. This is not something that NEORSD would contribute regional stormwater management dollars toward because it does not align with their goals. This entire cost would be borne by the cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights. In addition, there would be ongoing costs related to dam maintenance and sediment removal that would be the responsibility of the cities.
No. NEORSD can only fund work that aligns with the goals of the Regional Stormwater Management Program. As such, it would not be able to divert the $14.7 million to help fund the rebuilding of the dam at Horseshoe Lake. The City of Shaker Heights and the City of Cleveland Heights would be responsible for the entire $20.7 million estimated cost of rebuilding the dam, plus ongoing maintenance costs.
The cost for this is estimated to be $34.3 million, which is beyond the funding ability of NEORSD and is not an option being offered. In this scenario (rebuild the dams and manage sediment at both lakes), the cost for Lower Lake improvements are estimated to be $13.6 million and would be NEORSD funded due to the flooding benefits they provide. The costs for constructing a new dam at Horseshoe Lake and managing the sediment are estimated at $20.7 million. As explained during NEORSD's June 15 presentation, lacking tangible flood control benefits, NEORSD regional stormwater management dollars could not be utilized to build a new dam at Horseshoe and manage the resulting sediment accumulation. As such, the needed $20.7 million would need to come from the municipalities.
NEORSD has conducted preliminary environmental assessments of the sediment at Horseshoe Lake. Residents can learn more from the June 15 presentation (sediment is discussed at 45 minutes). Residents can email NEORSD for additional information.
Visit neorsd.org/shakerlakes to view the June 15 presentation, an additional video about the recommendations for Horseshoe Lake, and other information, including the slide deck. If you still have questions about the recommendations, please email email@example.com.