City considers southwest stormwater improvements

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — A study of the southwest stormwater improvements was discussed during the Sidney City Council teleconference meeting Monday evening.

Public Works Director Jon Crusey led a discussion seeking direction from City Council about the improvements.

Due to occasional flooding of the western portion of Emerson Electric’s west parking area on Campbell Road and loading docks on the north side of the Auria facility on Schlater Drive, Crusey said Choice One Engineering was contracted to analyze the drainage area and recommend improvements to the watershed and outlet.

Ryan Lefeld, P.E., of Choice One Engineering, provided council with the background on the localized flooding problems. He displayed maps detailing the proposed improvements options, including retention basins, concrete channels and a box culvert to help alleviate the problems. The total project is estimated to cost $9,194,673.

Lefeld said the combination of improvements would adequately convey the water outside of the city and would also not increase the flows seen south of the study area, but noted the obvious downside was the extremely high cost to only improve drainage on three sites. As a first step, the proposed concrete channel near the Auria facility would provide the most benefit for the projected costs. The next step in the multi-year program would be routing the storm water south of the railroad tracks and under Vandemark Road. He said the final steps could be the addition of the proposed retention basins on the Emerson property and further downstream.

Members had various questions and a discussion ensued about the infrastructure proposed versus the underground infrastructure for water storage and the potential impact should Interstate 75 be widened at some point in the future. Debris management and downstream flow impact was also discussed.

A future discussion of financing options for the proposed improvements was request for a future meeting. Also, Choice One was asked to investigate a few additional scenarios discussed during the meeting and return with the projected stormwater impacts and costs estimates.

In other business at the end of the meeting, Council members Ed Hamaker and Jenny VanMatre shared they had received several phone calls after the previous meeting about having no overnight parking in the downtown. City Manager Mark Cundiff said several parking lots, convenient to the nine-block downtown area, would be available for overnight parking.

Council member Steve Wagner said the Trap-Neuter-Release clinic held over the weekend was a successful, full clinic. Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan asked for another discussion during a future council meeting on the Ohio Building.

Barhorst also shared he received word from the Japan External Trade Organization they may have located a Japanese city interested in becoming a “sister city” with the city of Sidney. Nothing is final as it is only in the initial stages, but he shared the news for those council members who may be interested in serving on the steering committee, if created.

According to Sister Cities International, a sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. Each sister city organization is independent and pursues the activities and thematic areas that are important to them and their community including municipal, business, trade, educational, and cultural exchanges and projects with their sister city.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.