Green addressing storm water issues
GREEN — The sound of applause flowed from Green City Council Chambers after a presentation regarding storm water projects was held at the start of the Aug. 14 meeting.
About 35 residents gathered to learn how the city is managing storm water matters more effectively.
Last year, a number of residents flooded Council Chambers regarding ongoing storm water drainage issues, requesting relief.
Mayor Dick Norton then created a Storm Water Initiative Committee that would stay on top off the issue of storm water. At the time, he challenged the committee to make Green a model for managing storm water throughout the state.
“We made significant progress in the first year, and this is just the beginning. Storm water management is forever, and we have the expertise and will be the model,” he said.
City Engineer Paul Pickett reviewed the ongoing and upcoming projects for the city’s flood prone areas.
He said the land in front of Green Middle School on Steese Road soon would be turned into a wetland area for storm water collection and this would correct flooding issues in the Hightower Estates subdivision. Pickett explained the city obtained a $100,000 grant through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the creation of the wetland, which is an educational opportunity for students and residents. He said the wetland would be used to teach the community about the importance of water quality. He said the storm water storage system would be created onsite next summer.
He also discussed the work taking place in the Solar Estates subdivision. The failing system is being replaced with larger capacity pipes, he said. The project, which is a little more than half done, is being completed by Spano Brothers at a cost of approximately $239,000.
Pickett then addressed flooding issues at Kaufmanns Creek, also known as Deer Valley. He said the channel at the corner of Mt. Pleasant Road and South Main Street experienced some erosion last winter, but it has been repaired and its capacity increased. Pickett said natural stone was used in the channel, and it is quite eye-pleasing now. The $69,000 project was done by Meadville Land Services.
Pickett also reported a retaining wall that was washed out was rebuilt at the city’s fire station on Turkeyfoot Lake Road.
Issues with drainage on Melanie Drive will begin to be addressed this winter when the capacity of the storm water system is increased, and in October, the capacity of the storm water system on Spade Road also will be increased, he said. This project will begin around October, Pickett said.
Deputy Director of Public Service Paul Oberdorfer also spoke during the presentation. He discussed the city’s use of drain screens to catch debris, resulting in less water backups.
He said signage, complete with flashing lights, now will be used in areas prone to flooding during storm events until those system issues can be corrected.
Oberdorfer also said a medical vehicle once used by the Green Fire Department has been turned into a storm water response unit, complete with a storm water inspection camera that takes photos inside pipes.
“What we have seen is impressive, and in this length of time,” Norton said.
City officials additionally have designed a mechanism that could flush out storm water problems in a quicker manner than they are currently.
During the Transportation, Connectivity and Storm Water Committee meeting, held just prior to the regular meeting, a lengthy discussion took place regarding an ordinance that would establish responsibility for the maintenance of all storm water management infrastructure, providing for an enforcement procedure.
The ordinance resulted from ideas generated by the Storm Water Initiative Committee.
“The ordinance would provide an avenue for some of those who are being burdened by water that they, frankly, should not be burdened with,” said Councilman John Summerville (Ward 4).
Summerville, Councilman Dave France (Ward 2) and Norton are the sponsors of the legislation.
Oberdorfer gave a presentation on the proposed legislation, which he said mirrors the Ohio Revised Code, which states a municipality has the power to take care of obstructions.
He said the ordinance would be an important component in protecting and improving water quality and keeping the city in compliance with the EPA.
The proposed legislation states the city is responsible for maintaining any storm water management system located on city-owned property. It also addresses how the costs for the storm water projects would be collected if the problem is a result of a property owner or a homeowners’ association.
If work has to be done in a quick manner, the property owner could be assessed for the work, according to the ordinance.
Norton said the legislation would encourage residents to be involved in storm water management and learn to inspect their catch basins. He added a similar ordinance has been working well in the city of Solon.
Several Council members expressed concern with how involved Council would be in collecting the money from residents for storm water work and the potential problems that could result from charging offenders for the cost to address flooding issues.
At the close of an hour of discussion on the matter, France said the proposed ordinance will be discussed again in the near future, and changes to the legislation still could be made.
“We are still gathering some information,” he said.
During his regular report, Norton discussed the recent 30th anniversary celebration at InfoCision on Massillon Road, the grand opening of Conrad Tire on Massillon Road and the arrival of Southwest Airlines to the Akron-Canton Airport.
Also during the regular meeting, Council:
• held a public hearing on an ordinance changing the zoning classification of about 3.05 acres of land from I-1 (General Industry) to B-1 (General Business) and approximately 0.06 acre of land from PD (Planned Development) to B-1 located on the east side of Massillon Road, north of Franks Parkway. City officials said the request would allow for the construction of a CVS Pharmacy;
• announced a public hearing originally scheduled for Aug. 14 regarding an ordinance to change the zoning classification of approximately 15.96 acres of land located on the west side of South Arlington Road, north of Boettler Road, from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to R-2 (Multiple Family Residential) was moved at the request of the applicant to Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd;
• heard the second reading of an ordinance to establish compensation for Civil Service Commission members at the amount of $1,500 per year;
• authorized the repaving of a section of South Arlington Road due to concrete buckling below the new pavement at an additional project cost of about $40,000. Pickett said lane closures will be in effect for two weeks starting Aug. 20 on South Arlington Road;
• tabled an ordinance to narrow an unnamed alley abutting Berna Road;
• held a 45-minute executive session at the end of the committee meetings, delaying the start of the regular meeting. Council President Joel Reed (at large) said the executive session was necessary to discuss a pending lawsuit and a city real estate matter; and
• announced the annual art-A-palooza event — featuring artwork on display and for sale, children’s activities, food and entertainment — will take place Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. at Boettler Park. [See related story on Page 1.]
Council’s next meeting is set for Aug. 28 beginning at 5 p.m. for committee meetings and continuing at 7 p.m. for the Council meeting in Council Chambers at the CAB.
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