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Residents tell of flooding woes at council meeting

About 10 residents who experienced flooding following a heavy rainstorm late last month asked city officials to do more to prevent the problem from reoccurring during a City Council meeting March 7.

With much of the flooding taking place in homes in Ward 5, the former Parkview suburb that was annexed by Fairview Park in 1967, residents asked that more attention be paid to sewer problems in that area of the city.

City officials acknowledged that more attention needs to be given to the sewers in Ward 5 and are, in fact, doing just that. Legislation for a previous planned, $100,000 project that will inspect, clean and repair sanitary sewers within Ward 5 was introduced at the Council meeting.

Service Director Jim Kennedy said sewer lines in Ward 5 all run into a single line going into North Olmsted and its sewage treatment plant. That line backed up, Kennedy said.

Kennedy held meetings last week with Michael Mackay of Mackay Engineering and Surveying Company, which handles engineering matters for the city, regarding additional sewer improvements.

According to Kennedy, the city intends to focus on three areas – a West 227th Street culvert that two stormwater lines run into, a convergence of sewer lines at West 220th Street and Clifford Drive, and a planned sewer project at Woodstock Avenue.

Of the 84 phone calls reporting flooded basements, 72 came from the Ward 5 area, Kennedy noted. Kennedy encouraged residents to call City Hall to report flooding problems because pinpointing the location of problems can help city officials solve them.

During the past dozen years, the Patton administration has spent nearly $6 million on sewer improvements, Kennedy noted.

During an hour-long public comment session, frustrated victims of flooded basements urged city officials to fix the problem.

One man suggested the city create more retention basins to handle stormwater during heavy rainstorms. “Just blow something up,” he said of the need for retention basins. Another woman suggested the city hire a dowser to locate backed up sewers.

Some complained about the cost of cleaning up after a flooding, while others worried a history of flooding in their basements will make it difficult to ever sell their homes.

Kennedy said the city is committed to solving the problem.

“We have a plan,” Mayor Eileen Patton told residents, referring to a 2006 city sewer plan. The city takes the sewer issue seriously and is addressing the problem project by project, she said.

City Council members also expressed their regrets to the residents who suffered flooding damage.

 

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