City administration officials continue to work on multiple fronts in an attempt to deal with the flooding problems that have plagued North Olmsted this year.
An informational meeting is set for 7 p.m. today in the Community Cabin in North Olmsted Park to give people information about proposed sanitary sewer system upgrades. In addition, a three-man sewer cleanup crew was scheduled to start this week. And, after City Council approved a pact with Cuyahoga County at its last regular meeting, the city has put two county cleanup trucks and their crews to work cleaning up sewer issues around the city.
“We’re trying to deal with the flooding issue as quickly as we can and are looking at a variety of ways,” Mayor Kevin Kennedy said. “We know people want action, and we are taking different steps and continue to work on getting the problems dealt with.”
Kennedy and his staff have already held three different community meetings, attended by hundreds of people. At the sessions, the residents peppered city officials with questions about why the issues haven’t been dealt with for years and what the current administration is going to do about them.
Kennedy again noted that the city has had three of the top 15 most severe rainstorms of the last 100 years in the space of one year.
“There’s no question that it’s been a tough year, but we still need to take action,” he said. “People are frustrated, and they expect us to do something. If they want to take some shots, I can take it, but we are taking actions in several areas.”
Referring to tonight’s meeting, Kennedy said the Chapel Hill project would help address overflows caused by water getting into the sanitary sewer system during heavy rains. As envisioned by project officials, the work would help eliminate sanitary sewer overflows in the collection system upstream from the LeBern and Dover pump stations.
“We know the Chapel Hill Drive area is one of the ones hardest hit by the flooding issues,” Kennedy said. “This would help deal with that.”
If approved in its current form, the project would install 6,250 feet of parallel relief sewer construction lines ranging in size from 12 to 24 inches, rehabilitate the 4.5 million gallon per day LeBern and 7.9 million gallon per day Dover pumping stations; put a 360,000-gallon underground equalization tank at the Dover Pump station; expand the 1.5 million gallon Clague Park equalization tank to 7.5; put a 1.25 million gallon equalization facility at Clague Park; put about 900 feet of relief sewer lines ranging from 15 to 24 inches along Chapel Hill Drive.
“It’s pretty extensive,” Kennedy said. “We would like to get everything approved as quickly as possible in the next few weeks so we could get bids and approval done this year and get going on it next year.”
Referring to the three-man sewer cleanup crew, Kennedy said he realizes the city workforce in the service department has dropped in recent years.
“We are trying to address that, and this crew will be working hard, I’m sure,” he said.
Kennedy said Thursday the county trucks and workers are already on the streets in North Olmsted.
“We got them out there as quickly as we could,” he said. “It gives us additional help at a time when we really need it.”