Storm drainage improvement projects underway

By Bob Robinson

STAR STAFF

   The City of Elizabethton Public Works Department continues to make storm drainage improvements as falling leaves begin their yearly encroachment of storm catch basins. Leaf pick up in the City is scheduled to begin Nov. 5.
   Allen Pope, construction inspector for the City of Elizabethton, said the improvement projects were prioritized in response to citizen complaints of localized flooding voiced at the City Council meeting on Sept. 13.
   In an effort to prevent localized flooding, ditches have been cleared and catch basins have been cleaned citywide, according to Robert Laws, superintendent of the City of Elizabethton Street Department.
   A number of storm drains in the City are open culverts with no catch basin.
   "Catch basins are designed to catch debris. They have been cleaned and a high pressure hose was used to flush the basin of debris," Laws said.
   Laws urges citizens to rake leaves to the curb and not place them in the street because the leaves will clog catch basins.
   The City will use three vacuum trucks, a three-person crew per vehicle, for leaf pickup, Laws said. "One truck will start on the East side, one on the West side and one in the middle of town," Laws added. Leaf pick up in the City will continue until Jan. 31.
   Meanwhile, Pope is hoping to eliminate localized flooding by adding curbs and lowering the roadway, if necessary, when it is repaved to carry water runoff.
   Projects have been completed on Sylvan Hill Road, Dakota at Happy Valley Street and Mulberry at Mill Street.
   Funded projects scheduled for completion in the near future are Field Road/Field at Division, Golf Course Acres, Siam Road at Riverside, Holly lane curb closure, Holly at Mill Street, Hillview, Recreation Center ditch line/paving, Glenview Drive and Jena Beth Drive Phase II.
   Additional storm drainage improvement projects are planned, subject to available funding, according to Pope.
   Summers Taylor Paving Co. is doing the repaving, Pope said. City Council approved $122,000 for yearly storm drain maintenance and construction prior to last summer's heavy rains.
   City Manager Charles Stahl said an additional $30,000 would be spent on storm drainage improvement projects this year after heavy rains in July caused localized flooding.