Brookfield Trustee Ron Haun said he’s tired of kicking the can down the road when it comes to flooding problems in the Second and Third street areas of Masury, and the Valley View residential development.
That’s why he is holding a meetin,g for the sole purpose of developing plans to solve the problems, at 7 a.m. Aug. 13 at the township administration building, 6844 Strimbu Drive.
Once those plans are in place, trustees can approach residents and explain just what would be involved in solving decades-old issues, Haun said July 23.
No projects are imminent, but the plans would aid the trustees should grant money become available or if they decide to apply for an Issue 1 grant, which is state money raised by a bond issue for sewer, paving and related projects, trustees said. Township Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg said he did not know if a surface-water flooding project would be eligible for Issue 1 funds, but he would check into it.
Issue 1 projects on the scale needed to fix Valley View and Masury flooding problems are out of reach for the township because of the need to provide a township financial match for any grants, he said.
The township also could arrange for a no-interest loan through the state or issue bonds, but residents would have to pay back the money.
Fredenburg said he knows of two past instances where township officials presented residents in Valley View with estimates as to the cost of correcting flooding problems, and the efforts died because the residents weren’t willing to pay.
The flooding problem in Valley View is most severe in the Wildwood and Northview drive areas.
The county needs to be involved in the Valley View discussions because one of the two issues there – flooded basements – is a result of drains and downspouts emptying into the sanitary sewer lines, Fredenburg said. When there is a heavy rain, that influx of storm water clogs up the sanitary pipes, and water backs up into drains.
Residents can take the costly step of having back flow preventers or check valves installed in their homes, which keep water from running backward in these instances. It has been worth it for many because of the cost – even with insurance – of cleaning up and replacing ruined carpets, furniture and other items, Fredenburg said.
There is a separate problem with surface water flooding in Valley View, which Fredenburg said is a result of a flawed storm water design from when the development was built, and residents interfering with the natural flow of storm water by filling in swales and putting up swimming pools and sheds.
Trustees met this year with county and state representatives to discuss flooding in Masury. The problems there include sewer pipes that are not deep enough, separated pipes, silt collecting in pipes and non-uniform pipe diameters, officials said. A fix would cost in the millions of dollars, trustees said state officials told them.