Swale fix coming
Money approved to take corrective action
Saturday, May 24, 2014 06:00 am
City council has decided to front-end $2.5 million to mitigate the drainage issues around a concrete swale in the Oakmont area.
“This has been several years now without an easy answer,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse. The swale is located between properties along Oak Vista Drive and Oakhill Place.
Crouse said it’s taken some time to work through the legal questions of responsibility, but ultimately it’s in the city’s court to fix.
“The residents have been concerned about this for a long time and fundamentally the city has an obligation to make sure proper drainage is in place,” he said.
He’s walked the backyards of impacted residents, and said the impact from the drainage issues is “absolutely terrible.”
“There’s some backyards that haven’t been developed, and there’s some terrible erosion there,” he said, noting if they don’t deal with it now, there will be a bigger problem in the future.
Council decided at their May 5 meeting to put the money forward, but only made that decision public after communicating with the impacted residents first.
Tracy Allen, director of engineering, said there are concerns about the capacity of the swale.
“We need to come in and essentially make it bigger just to deal with the volume of water,” she said. Right now the swale size is insufficient and water ends up going up one side or down the other.
“Any infrastructure on either side of it is going to start to fail as well, whether that’s a fence or someone’s yard,” she said.
The problem has progressed over the last couple of years, and Allen said while they’re not certain what’s caused the issue, she thinks there will end up being multiple causes.
“It’s a complex issue,” Allen said. When they do the corrective work, they’d like to make sure to not simply push the problem farther up or down stream.
The work is tentatively scheduled to start in September because it’s usually the driest month.
An open house, the first of two, will be held on Wednesday at Servus Place from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Allen said they’d like to get feedback from the impacted residents on their experiences and observations before implementing a fix.