News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Wayside Furniture


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Army Corps seeks more information on how to protect Zoar from flooding
Zoar's future may well be its history
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Aaron Smith says the Army Corps will take into account Zoar's past in determining its future.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The levee built to protect the historic village of Zoar now threatens to destroy it, and the Army Corps of Engineers is trying to measure everything from history to community to bald eagles to figure out what to do about it. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on one of the first general public meetings to determine the future of a communal settlement that has preserved its look and feel for nearly 200 years.

 

SCHULTZE: Zoar's future in its past

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:41)


Aaron Smith is heading the Army Corps of Engineer’s efforts to find a solution to a long-standing problem in northern Tuscarawas County: The Zoar levee, built as a New Deal project in the 1930s, is seeping water, so much so that it has earned the corps’ worst designation:  “urgent and compelling.”

But picking a solution rests with a post-Katrina process that will take years to grade a range of options against host of measures.

History vs. ???
On the options side: Do nothing. Buy and flood the village. Move the village. Fix, modify or replace the levee.

On the measures side: community, economy, environment, even answering the question: Will it stir up toxic chemicals?  And, Smith says, of course, a big factor is history.

 “Zoar levee was actually formulated to protect the village based on its historical significance. And what’s become clear to us since we started the study is the historical significance of Zoar is still of utmost concern not only to the villagers, but it seems to be a regional heritage asset, but also nationally significant. We’ve got several stakeholders across the nation who are concerned with the village.”

National concern
Jennifer Sandy is one of them. She attended Thursday night’s informational meeting at Tuscarawas Valley High School. But she’s from Chicago and is representing the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It has named Zoar one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

“I think anyone who visits Zoar, even just for five minutes, can appreciate the beauty of the community and the history and heritage and culture of the community. It has wonderful stories to tell, (ones)  that talk about the American experience. They talk about people coming over here as immigrants and building a life for themselves and building a community.”

Zoar was settled by German separatists in 1817, and kept going as a communal society for better than 70 years. Andy Sewell has cataloged every building for the Army Corps study, from the tin shop to the bakery to the outbuilding foundation for House No. 15.

“The biggest surprise is how much is still here. In a way, it’s comparable to Colonial Williamsburg in that you go there and you get a sense of the time because all the buildings are nicely preserved. But the interesting thing here is that most of these buildings are privately owned. The owners have  taken their own funds and time and effort to make sure everything looks very much like it used to.”

And somehow, Sewell says, gas stations and convenience stores have never been part of its landscape.

All sides gather information
And though they came to the meeting with maps, DVDs, power points and think books filled with information about Zoar, project overseer Smith told the roughly 30 people attending Thursday night's meeting that the purpose was to gather even more information – and not just about history.

“For example, someone tonight gave us a photograph of a roosting bald eagle right next to our study area -- that we had no idea existed. That’s great information, helps us a lot.”

Cost will come into play
To most of those at the meeting, the idea of moving the village is unthinkable.  It’s not unthinkable to Dave Bennett, a geologist who grew up in the area. But without knowing costs, he wants the Army Corps focus  on the levee.

“I do not know off the top of my head, nor do I have the ability to figure out how much that’s going to cost. It won’t be cheap, but given the historic value of the community and the history value to the state of Ohio, I think it is very important that the town or village of Zoar be preserved.

The Army Corps is taking comments through March 29th. It plans meetings this summer, then a series of review, and it hopes to settle on an option by the end of 2015.

The e-mail address for comments on the Zoar levee is zoarlevee@usace.army.mil. The phone number is (304) 399-5730. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Bridgestone exec indictments are latest step in a billion-dollar price-fixing case
Why is O.P.E.C Not investigated and charges brought against it and it's member companies? It sounds exactly the same...

Ohio's new drilling rules rely on known earthquake faults
requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines. This comment really upsets me!! What good does an instrument t...

Kasich's gubernatorial ad focuses on his blue-collar roots
John Kasich is the biggest con-man in America. He will say one thing and then do the opposite. He is terribly successful at fooling the public and he is worki...

Cab drivers who refuse to drive Gay Games taxis will be replaced
the irony is that most americans distrust or hate muslims much more than they hate gays!! silly ignorant bigots-GO HOME!!!

New transportation companies come to Cleveland
Ride-sharing companies are breaking laws and regulations every day. From regulatory fee evasion to use of smartphone while driving (and even two smartphones(!) ...

Cleveland anti-poverty agency executive resigns amid financial probe
That committee won't be too independent. He plans to stay on until after the new appointee is chosen.

How can you wipe a criminal record clean?
Great article! NO CLINIC in May 2014, however, because it's graduation month for students For the next dates of the FREE Legal Clinic to help with Expungment,...

Drilling remains suspended while ODNR investigates NE Ohio earthquakes
Flaring and lights, so has all been halted? Also, smell of HS2 and sounds of an auger/drilling/water rushing underground. So, has all been halted? In light of t...

Will the Ohio River carry fracking wastewater?
Texas $ vs. WV citizens . Who will our governor listen to?

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University