WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ohio's senators have introduced legislation to protect the historic Village of Zoar in Tuscarawas County.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to preserve the village's historic integrity in any study or construction related to management of the aging, earthen levee that surrounds Zoar.
Separatists who fled Germany for religious freedom founded Zoar in 1817 along the Tuscarawas River. A levee was built in the 1930s to protect the village from flooding. But, record floods in 2005 raised concern about the levee and its structural integrity.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the midst of a three-year study on the levee and its needs. One of the potential options for the Corps of Engineers includes removing the levee which would result in the relocation or demolition of most of Zoar. The Brown-Portman bill would require the Corps of Engineers to find a solution that maintains the village during any repairs or reconstruction of the levee.
"There is widespread, bipartisan support for protecting Zoar, and I am committed to ensuring that this extraordinary village remains intact," said Sen. Brown.
"The legislation we have introduced today will play a small part in helping the community flourish while protecting Zoar's historic structures," said Sen. Portman.