Belmont residents seek to halt opening of Penta Career Center

Reported by Dick Berry email

Posted by Kate Oatis email

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP - Three Perrysburg Township residents hope to halt the opening of the new Penta Career Center. Indeed, they've filed a lawsuit in Wood County Common Pleas Court claiming the vocational school will intensify flooding in their neighborhood.

Douglas Crocker and two others are suing the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, demanding the agency fix the sewer system. They live along Grassy Creek Dr. in the Belmont Woods subdivision and say when it rains, the sanitary system backs up, sending raw sewage into basements and backyards.

"The system probably is the proper size, but it can't handle the rainwater that gets into the system that's not supposed to be in the system," said Crocker.

They're also asking that the opening of the new Penta Career Center be postponed.

"Penta is not our enemy. We think they will be a great neighbor. But they can only make the (sewer) situation worse," said Rex Huffman, district attorney.

The district, though, is constructing a parallel pipeline, more than doubling the flow of sewage from east to west and claiming it will eliminate much of the problems for the residents.

"It didn't take the lawsuit to make us do this. These things have all been in place for years and takes time to engineer them, build them," said Fred Susor, superintendent of Penta Career Center.

In addition, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has approved the sewer system for the $90 million, 500,000 sq. ft. building.

"And our expectation is that it's going to work. All the engineering, drawings and permits," Susor said.

Penta is scheduled to open Sept. 2. No hearing date for the lawsuit has been set.

Talk to folks involved in this case, and they all think some sort of out-of-court settlement can be reached.

Crocker would like the district to hire an outside, independent consultant to look at the sewage problem -- and correct it.