(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell Public Board of Works is addressing the flooding issues in Hel-Mar Acres, a housing addition located north of Hancock Avenue in the northwest quadrant of the city.
Krystal Shetler, of the Times-Mail reports, the land has been plagued with flooding problems for decades and taxes the city's storm sewer system.
The city has filed three times for grant money to make the costly repairs and three times they have been denied the funds., Larry Haag, client manager for Bernardin, Lochmueller and Associates Inc., an environmental engineering firm in Indianapolis, asked city officials for $11,350 to allow the firm to do a study of the city's flooding woes.
Haag hopes to find a new fix that would not only divert flooding in Hel-Mar, but create the required 8 acres of wetlands the city is being forced to rebuild to replace the wetlands destroyed during the construction of Doc Hamilton Boulevard.
"The idea, Haag said, is an environmentally friendly fix that would be less costly than the previous plans that would have had the city digging up current drains and roads to install a new storm sewer system. Using current water flow patterns and drainage, the new plan would divert and capture the water during a major rain event to a "holding area," which would be land designated as wetlands, until the ground soaked up the water naturally.
Haag says it it a more cost-effective idea, but isn't a simple fix, but more affordable than the man-made alternative of digging up roads and laying pipes.
Haag said, along with a fix, the firm will offer up funding solutions, including grant suggestions and bond opportunities. He added that the government is more likely to help fund an environmentally friendly solution.
Clerk-treasurer George James told the board the city has the money to pay for the study. Board members unanimously OK'd the study on the condition that the property owner to the west of Hel-Mar was agreeable with going forth with the plan. After the meeting, Pruett spoke with the property owner, who said he was willing to work with the city.
In other business the board:
*Retained Roberts Legal Group to represent the city in the matter of former Mitchell police officer Randy Phelix who is pursuing the payment of medical expenses. A legal suit has not been filed by Phelix, Pruett said. The former officer is seeking payment of the claims, which were turned down by the city's workman's compensation insurance. Using Roberts Legal Group, the city will work to get the claims back in the hands of the workman's compensation group. Roberts Legal Group has worked with the city of Mitchell before, previously hired by the city's liability insurance firm, to combat other claims.
* Reviewed the city's uniform contract, which is up Aug. 1. James received two contract estimates to provide uniform services, towels, floor mats and other janitorial textiles through Dec. 31, 2015. The board will award the contract at its next meeting, slated for 4 p.m. on Aug. 7.
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