Mayor promises help with flooding

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Mayor promises help with flooding

Postby rock star » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:52 pm

BY KATHLEEN QUILLIGAN
Kathleen.Quilligan@nwitimes.com
219.662.5331 | Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | 2 comment(s)

CROWN POINT | At an informal meeting with residents of Fashion Terrace to discuss flooding, Mayor David Uran gave residents hope and introduced another short-term fix to the citywide problem.

"Do you give us hope?" resident Kim Sankowski asked Uran on Tuesday night. "I'm taking you for your word."

"I'm giving you my word," Uran said.

The meeting gave residents of the flood-plagued subdivision the opportunity to vent, ask questions and hear possible solutions. The issue was exacerbated by a heavy storm earlier this month, and Uran said Tuesday it is currently Crown Point's No. 1 problem.

Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind. promised the city $1 million in federal money to help with stormwater management. On Tuesday, Uran said the money will be used to clean out ditches that haven't been cleared for decades. The work most likely will be done in late fall or early winter and should help provide some short-term relief, he said.

The federal money is a 70-30 match, so the city will have a total $1.3 million. The federal government will pay 70 percent of the project up to $1 million, and the city pay the remaining 30 percent. Uran said the stormwater fee he will ask the City Council to consider Sept. 2 will help pay for the city's match.

At a meeting of the city's Stormwater Advisory Board on Monday night, Uran said he will request a monthly stormwater free of $6 per household that would be used to finance solutions to stormwater problems.

"The storm sewer pipes in the entire subdivision are woefully too small. ... Something has got to be done," said resident Bill Heiser, who helped organize the informal meeting of about 35 residents and city officials Tuesday.

Residents told city officials stories of submerged vehicles, filled basements and water coming in through windows.

"The streets flood, and there aren't enough drains," Sankowski said. "You watch it and you pray."

Jeff Ban, an engineer with city consultant DVG Inc., told residents the problem won't be a quick fix.

Uran said residents could probably expect to see the $6 fee on their water bills in November if it is adopted by council, and Ban said residents could see solutions in 12 to 24 months. He asked those with flooding problems to let him know.

"We need your help," he said. "In order to solve this, we need your help."

To report flooding problems, call City Hall at (219) 662-3240.
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