District Board Awards 11 Community Grants

The Lorain County Storm Water Management District Board awarded 11 Community Grants to 11 Townships totaling nearly $400,000 for drainage projects within the District.

Eighteen applications requesting more than $825,000 in funding were received from 14 of the 18 townships this round. Click Here to see list of projects approved and all projects submitted.

Community Grant Ditch Petition Update – Luther Ditch

The Board of Commissioners held a ditch petition hearing on July 20, 2017, on the Storm Water District Community Grant funded Luther Ditch project. Pittsfield Township submitted an application that was reviewed and scored by the Storm Water Advisory Committee – Community Grant Subcommittee and recommended along with 8 other projects to the full advisory committee, Upon review and discussions the full SWAC  recommended funding to the District Board which in turn approved the funding for the project.

Below is a link to the presentation that the County Engineer made to the Board of Commissioners at the hearing.

Luther Lateral Ditch Powerpoint

Current Services

The revenue created from a new storm water fee will be used to comply with new unfunded federal water quality mandates, improve water quality and begin to upgrade the storm water infrastructure in our county. Money will be used to: 

    • Monitor water quality of local waterways to control potential discharge of pollutants;

    • Identify and eliminate improper connections that illegally dump waste, instead of storm water, directly into our rivers and streams;

    • Develop plans to properly address storm water runoff throughout the existing storm water system;

    • Help with projects to maintain, upgrade, repair, and replace the existing storm water infrastructure to reduce flooding and pollution;

    • Removing storm water from the sanitary sewer system known as Inflow and Infiltration (I & I);

    • Develop meaningful partnerships to provide effective and cost efficient services to the District with local agencies and organizations; and

    • Comply with federal/state unfunded regulations.


2016 Community Grants

Through a competitive application process, the District Board has awarded 16 Community Grants to 11 townships totaling $389,210.00. This is more than double the previous allocation of funds made available.

The District received 21 project applications from 13 townships. The Community Grant subcommittee reviewed all of the applications received and ranked them (2016 Approved Projects). The subcommittee reported out to the Storm Water Advisory Committee in an open meeting and the projects were discussed. A recommendation to forward the grants as ranked was approved by the Committee. The District Board met on February 17 and approved the grants as recommended by the SWAC.

Funds that are not expended because of a project being unable to go forward or coming in under budget will be used to either cover cost overruns of projects that are approved by the District, make an award to an unfunded project application or be carried forward to the next round of grant funding.

2016 District Activities

The Board approved a working budget of approximately $1.3 million. More than 2/3rds of the funds are going towards storm water infrastructure projects. Most of the funding is divided into either District Project funds or Community Grant funds, with some funds available to respond to log jam removals and other emergency situations.

A District Project is one that is typically of a very large scale or of a particular urgent need in partnership with local community. The District has completed several small scale projects. The flooding of Columbia Library was addressed through the District and Columbia Township working together to make drainage improvements in concert with the Library. A large swale to intercept and hold water until it can flow underneath East River Rd is an example. This year, working with Carlisle Township the completed the undercutting of a storm sewer that outlets into the Black River which will result in the protection of the sewer, Dewhurst Rd and private property.

Two larger projects being undertaken by the District are currently underway. Along the Clinton Avenue Ditch the District has acquired land in Elyria Township off of Lake Rd just south of the tracks. The District has applied for funding to restore the waterway, create enhanced flood way that will support wetlands and detain approximately 15 acre feet of flood water before it gets to North Ridge Rd and further downstream into Sheffield Township and their Town Hall on Clinton Avenue. Other areas for additional detention are being explored. This project will protect the safety services of Sheffield Township and help alleviate flooding along the Clinton Avenue Ditch.

The District is also working on restoring the Kelner Ditch along approximately 25,000 linear feet from its outfall into the Black River upstream to LaGrange Village’s southern Boundary. This District has entered into an MOU with the Village to cost share the improvements. Lorain County Metroparks, the townships of Carlisle and LaGrange are also assisting us on the project.

The District is in the process of updating the Storm Water Management Plan to remain in compliance with new Ohio EPA National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit. The plan will be updated and submitted to Ohio EPA by no later than December 22, 2016.

New in 2016, the District in partnership with the Board of Commissioners will from this year forward be financially responsible for all ongoing maintenance of ditches that were subject to maintenance assessments. This policy will remain in place so long as the District has the authority and funding to conduct the activity. Accordingly, the Board of Commissioners are suspending the collection of the maintenance fees that were being charged, and everyone in the District is now paying only the storm water fee and not additional maintenance assessments.


Budget for 2016


FY 2016

I&I Project Loan EPA (20Years)


Ohio EPA Phase II Compliance &Administration




Storm Water Management Plan


Customer Service/Technical Support


Database Management


MCM#1 - Public Education & Outreach


MCM#2 - Public Involvement/Participation


MCM#3 - Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination


MCM#4 - Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control


MCM#5 - Post-Construction Storm Water Management


MCM 6- Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping


Storm Water Management






Infrastructure maintenance


Infrastructure grants program


Setaside for Ditch Maintenance


Contractual community services


Street Sweeping


Petition Ditches


Emergency Fund / Log Jams


Auditor 2% Surcharge







2015 Stormwater Report

2015 Annual Report was submitted to Ohio EPA on March 30, 2016 on behalf of the County and Townships of Amherst, Carlisle, Columbia, Eaton, Elyria, Grafton and Sheffield and the City of Oberlin as co-permittees of Lorain County.


2014 Stormwater Report

2014 Annual Report submitted to Ohio EPA on March 31, 2015 on behalf of the County and Townships of Amherst, Carlisle, Columbia, Eaton, Elyria, Grafton and Sheffield.