Stow, Ohio. April 17th, 2011.

Stow — A giant sinkhole greets customers near the entrance at Dave’s Tip Top Restaurant on Darrow Road, where the parking lot collapsed on top of a storm sewer drain.

Everyone agrees it is dangerous and should be fixed. The question was, who will pay for it — the city or the restaurant?

The question was answered at City Council’s April 14 meeting. Council approved up to $7,400 for a temporary repair, which will be handled by Crano Excavating of Akron.

The legislation was requested by Service Director Dano Koehler.

The money is expected to be repaid to the city when the state takes responsibility for the land in 2013 in order to replace a bridge that is under the road.

According to Council President Janet D’Antonio, restaurant owner Tim Correia anticipates receiving money from the state that would be paid back to the city.

“We want to be able to help him out as much as we can,” D’Antonio said April 14. “This is a hazard to the general public.”

Correia discussed the sinkhole April 11 at Council’s Roads and Safety Committee meeting.

“It’s growing pretty rapidly,” Correia said, adding that it has deepened by 46 inches in the last two weeks.

“That’s a big sinkhole,” Councilman Matt Riehl said, “and it’s growing every time I look at it.”

Correia told city officials he was seeking assistance to address the problem, which he said a contractor estimated would cost between $6,200 and $7,200 to repair.

He said the parking lot collapsed about six weeks ago at the restaurant, 3428 Darrow Road.

Cement barricades were put in place by the city to prevent people from driving into the hole.

While the city does not own the land in question, it is only about 2 inches outside of city-owned property, Koehler said after sending out a survey crew.

Koehler said the storm sewer likely was put in place decades ago to improve the property, but not by Stow leaders.

The fact that it is so close to the sidewalk and street “made it a greater concern,” Koehler said.

Koehler said there is a bridge under the road, although not very visible, that the state plans to replace in 2013.

To do so, the state would take responsibility for the land that collapsed.

Koehler believes the state will talk to Correia this fall or winter about buying part of the land from him in order to replace the bridge.

Stow Senior Engineer Brad Kosco said he did not think the Ohio Department of Transportation had finalized its plans or the compensation yet.

Koehler said the road did not appear to be in jeopardy, but the edge of the sidewalk could be.

“It’s a safety issue,” D’Antonio said. “It is very dangerous.”

Councilman Mike Rasor said Stow leaders could not be sure that this was not the city’s fault, adding that the city should pay for at least part of the repair cost.

“It is wrong to put this on the shoulders of a small business owner,” Rasor said.

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