More flooding concerns voiced in Boardman


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By AMANDA TONOLI

atonoli@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

Boardman residents are still restless when it comes to fixing flooding problems throughout the township.

Judy Peyko said she was on her fourth flood in 10 years — her third one in less than a year.

“I want action,” she said. “I want a moratorium on any new construction until we get some things under control ... it’s urban flooding,” Peyko told township trustees Monday evening. “You’re not listening and doing what you need to do.”

More than 50 people attended to voice their stormwater concerns to trustees.

“You have to be judicious with what we allow to happen,” Trustee Larry Moliterno said, adding that solutions need to be thought out and not be reactionary.

Peyko said she’s afraid.

“I’m really scared — you’ve got to have green space and somewhere for the water to go,” she said.

Courtney Boyle said she’s been in her home for two years and has experienced five floods — two this past weekend.

“I can’t see having people in their 90s losing their homes because of drainage problems,” said Rhonda Latham. “We just need your help.”

Jackie Thompson said for the last 10 years she loses a foot of her back yard every year.

“You’re not listening,” Mike Sprague yelled at the trustees. “Explain how you want all of us to believe you — have faith in you. You’re listening to all the stories, but it’s all the same problem. We know we have a problem. You need to start listening and stop contradicting yourself.”

Dan Craig said he had as much as three feet of water surrounding his house.

“I’ve been in that house 20 years,” he said. “When we bought that house we loved Boardman. I can’t say that now.”

Bill Donahue said he’s running out of insurance companies to insure his home.

“Nobody wants to cover me,” he said.

Zane Good mentioned having a problem at his home, near Market Street Elementary.

“The street has flooded the whole time we’ve been there,” he said. “Our problem has always been the street flooding.”

And, that school has no retention pond, Good noted.

“People are tired,” Good said. “We are tired of living with this for the last 35 years.”

Flooding concerns were also the topic of the June 9 Boardman trustees meeting after a rain event revealed the inadequacy of Boardman’s stormwater infrastructure.

The township’s solution is the ABC Water and Stormwater District. The district, which launched in January, collected its first utility fee in May. It is expected to collect about $900,000 annually from Boardman residents’ stormwater utility fees.

The district’s first task is to create a stormwater master plan. ABC stands for Austintown, Boardman and Canfield, the three communities in the district.

The plan will evaluate the area’s flood plains and watersheds and guide execution of the district’s remediation projects. But it will be years before effects of the district’s projects are felt in the community.

Township Administrator Jason Loree gave an update on flood mitigation efforts and said he met with the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier Monday and signed an agreement to open a FEMA facility at the township center.

The days and hours have yet to be announced.

Moliterno said the correspondence trustees have had with state representatives has been more than in the past.

State Rep. Don Manning of New Middletown, R-59th, joined the meeting with encouraging words about the flooding issue.

“I’m not here to place blame on current or past elected officials,” he said. “I know now we’ve got a problem. If someone has concerns, bring it up to somebody so it can be part of the solution. This is a multijurisdictional problem. Boardman Township and the [Mahoning] county doesn’t have money to fix the problem by themselves.”

Moliterno suggested residents harness the energy they put into anger and frustration and work together with the township to solve the stormwater problem.

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