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ABC is key to easing flooding in Boardman

August 29, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Boardman Township has been working on the flooding issue for the past two decades, completing 21 projects and applying for any and all available grants. Even with all the work that has been done, flooding is still an issue when the storms are excessive in rain fall.

"August 10 we had three inches of rain in 90 minutes," said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree. "In the center of Boardman we recorded six inches total."

He said the township completed a lot of projects aimed at easing storm water problems. Two were over $1 million, which included underground retention at Market Street Elementary School and Boardman Lake expansion that could hold more rain water runoff.

Even with the lake expansion, one home on Cadillac Drive, next to the creek, received major flooding. Loree said Boardman Lake and the expansion were full to capacity and had the expansion project not been done, the flooding would have been much worse.

Another problem with the flooding issue is not getting any help from the Federal government. Boardman Township worked with the local Emergency Management Agency in attempting to collect data from all the flooded residents.

"The threshholds for receiving assistance is very high and not enough homes were flooded [to meet that threshold," Loree said. "Another part of the roblem is that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) does not consider a basement as a living area."

Another big issue for Boardman is the fact so many down spouts are connected into the sanitary sewer system. That was acceptable back in the day, but now storm water runoff can cause the sanitary sewers to back up.

"All the sanitary sewers are eight-inch pipes," Loree said. "If you get a lot of flow, then you get back up. Since 1980 all developments are3 required to have storm water controls. The older developments are more of a problem in Boardman Township. If you were to start the township from scratch today, a lot of the developments would have never been built."

While things may look bleak, next year there will be another avenue to help with storm water runoff. Loree said some time ago Austintown, Canfield, and Boardman townships came together to form the ABC Water and Stormwater District. In 2009, the district filed with the Court of Common Pleas and is now considered a utility service. The district will begin collecting fees next year.

Loree, who serves as President of the Water District, said the fees will be based on non-pervious surfaces. For businesses, it would mean roof tops, driveways, and parking lots. It is based on square footage.

"The average bill for a home would be between $2 to $2.50 per month and a business could pay as high as $10.15 per month," he said.

The funding the district brings in will help pay for upgrades and improvements to the stormwater sewer system. It will be able to make repairs it could not do before. Loree said if a culvert collapsed on private property, the township could not touch it. The water district, being a utility service, could.

The funds brought in can also be used as matching funds for any state or Federal grants that may come available for projects.

"We will also be able to qualify for more because of the size of the ABC district," Loree said,

The ABC Water and Storm Water District is hoping to have a public meeting the second week of September. The meeting will show where the district is at in the start up process and what areas are being looked at for the district to deal with. The date and time for the meeting will be posted on the district's web site at www.abcwaterdistrict.com.

Along with Loree, the ABC Water and Stormwater District also has Keith Rogers from Canfield Township serving as vice president and Michael Dockry from Austintown Township serving as secretary/treasurer. Stephanie Landers from Boardman Township is also part of the district serving as assistant to the secretary.

 
 

 

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