The residents approached the council in
July this year with a video in tow of floodwaters washing through
their yards and streets. They say that this has been happening for
all of the years that they have lived in their homes, and it happens
every time there is a significant rain.
It was noted that a former resident,
Mr. Hartman, entreated the council to look into the matter five
years ago. But it was also duly noted that this took place under the
previous administration and the present council did not have
knowledge of the problem.
With no clear evidence of action and
no answers in four months, residents Scott Turner, Steve Roti and
Garland Brinner attended Tuesday evening's meeting. They wanted to
know what has been done so far and what the city will do for them.
Mayor Beth Davis acknowledged that
yes, it has taken some time. But first of all we had to determine if
it was the city's responsibility, she told them.
That is not yet been determined, but
the city did begin research on the possibilities to remedy the
The subdivision sits west of town in
back of the Elks golf course. The cause of the problem appears to be
that the subdivision was built on a flood plain. It receives runoff
from a subdivision above it, the Elks golf course and surrounding
Wastewater treatment plant manager
Grant Eaton evaluated the setting and determined that there was only
one clear option to relieve the excessive waters that back up at the
storm sewer. That was to install a larger storm sewer pipe and route
the water down toward the Kroger and Wal-Mart plaza. The estimated
cost to do this is $400,000 to $600,000.
Another route has been considered,
but it runs through a designated animal sanctuary. It is anticipated
that the state's Department of Natural Resources will not permit its
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Another possibility might be to
channel the excess water to a retention pond, but where that could
be located is unknown.
Brinner met with Mayor Beth Davis,
city attorney Bill Bates and engineers Grant Eaton and Mark Mathon a
couple of weeks ago.
In response to why it has taken so
long, Eaton said, "We are working at it. We have not forgotten it."
It takes time to get engineers and the EPA out and then get plans
developed and approved. There are also a lot of other related issues
that must be dealt with first, such as the upgrade at the K-Mart
lift station, which handles that water flow. It all takes time, he
A flow study has been requested, and
he is waiting on the results of that before he can recommend
anything to the council.
There remains the question of who
will be responsible for the costs. It is unknown who first approved
the subdivision, which was knowingly built on a flood plain.
Surrounding grounds contributing to the problem are county
jurisdiction. However, the city annexed the subdivision (and its
problems) after it was built.
Residents were considering starting
litigation on the matter. But Bates urged them to hold off. "They're
[the council] never going to move forward on it until they know what
kind of dollars we are talking about here," he said. The council may
choose to help you whether it is their responsibility or not, he
Chairman Benny Huskins said, "We're
doing the best we can."