Controversy over boaters on Fremont reservoir - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Controversy over boaters on Fremont reservoir

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FREMONT, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The City of Fremont still hasn't reached a decision on whether or not they will allow boaters onto the city's new reservoir, but if they don't, it could cost the city millions of dollars.

At their meeting Thursday, Mayor Jim Ellis proposed a new ordinance that would prohibit gas-powered boats from going onto the water for any recreational use, even though the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) built a boat ramp at the reservoir for that purpose.

City officials have been wary of allowing gas-powered boats to go out onto their drinking water.

"I'm pretty confident that a large majority of people in Fremont don't want the risk of gas and oil getting into the water," Ellis said.

The task of building the reservoir has been an arduous one. Problems have included going over budget, and the contractor leaving the project. But the reservoir was built to eliminate high nitrate levels from the river.

"They feel that after spending, you know, $44 million on the construction of the reservoir, that we shouldn't substitute petroleum products for the nitrates that we spent all that money to avoid," the mayor said.

But $5 million of that money came from the ODNR through a boater angler fund. A representative from ODNR said if Fremont does not allow boaters on the water for fishing, the department will be asking for that $5 million back.

The ordinance will be voted on at the council's Aug. 15 meeting.

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