Council considers aid for flooding analysis

The study would suggest remedies and cost estimates.
WARREN -- The city's water pollution control department is seeking city council's approval to hire a consultant to study five areas that are prone to flooding after major rainfalls.
"Most of these areas are probably going to need some type of retention basin, a retention pond, or some type of redirection," of storm water, said Thomas A. Angelo, the city's water pollution control director. "I'll ask them to prioritize the areas," of concern as they see them, Angelo said of the consultants.
Angelo made the presentation at a Tuesday meeting of city council's sewer and water pollution control committee.
The five areas of study are:
UThe Golf Drive and Trumbull Country Club Area, where runoff from the golf course tends to bypass the storm sewer system and follow a cart path and flood Country Club Drive Northeast, during moderate to heavy rains.
UElm Road and University Street Northeast, where runoff from Elm Road Plaza and the Elm Road Drive-In Theater contribute to flooding.
UMillikin Place and Atlantic Street Northeast, where flooding occurs because a storm sewer's capacity is insufficient to handle heavy rains.
UCoit Avenue Northwest, a naturally low area near Parkman Road, which retains water for extended periods during moderate to heavy rainfall.
UTod Avenue Northwest, from Englesson Drive to Crestwood Avenue, where an undersized 8-inch storm pipe fails to drain the area adequately.
Department plan
The engineering study would include an inventory of all drainage ditches, storm sewers and other storm water control structures, their water handling capacities and suggested flooding remedy alternatives with cost estimates.
The city's water pollution control department is accepting statements of qualifications from consulting firms until 3 p.m. Tuesday. After that, the department will make a recommendation to city council, and the consulting contract amount will be negotiated with the firm deemed most qualified.
"Any money we allocate, we owe it to the residents to be most cost effective," said Councilwoman Susan Hartman, D-7th.
Committee Chairman John Homlitas, D-3rd, said storm water control is an increasingly specialized area of engineering that requires the expertise of consultants outside city government. "I'm all for moving on this," Homlitas said.
Angelo said the city has the money to pay for the consultant study and will likely finish the year with just short of $500,000 in unrestricted money he plans to set aside for construction. However, he said of the actual construction, "I have no idea what the ultimate end cost of this is going to be."
Once construction cost estimates are available, city officials must decide what work is to be done, plan the work in phases and find out how much funding can be leveraged with an Ohio Water Development Authority loan, Angelo said.

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