STOW -- With city property owners paying a higher stormwater fee this year, the city is planning to more than double what it spends this year on projects.

Deputy City Engineer Mike Jones said during a meeting with the media March 13 that last year, the city spent just under $150,000 while projects planned for this year are estimated at a total of $300,000. Mayor Sara Kline in the same meeting, said that the ability to do more stormwater projects is thanks to a increase in the city's stormwater fee.

Up until the end of 2016, the owners of single-family homes in the city were billed $3 monthly on their water bills, with the owners of bigger properties billed larger amounts that varied according to the amount of impervious service area, such as parking lots. City officials said this raised about $800,000 annually, with roughly half used to maintain existing stormwater infrastructure.

Starting in January 2017, however, the fee increased to $5 monthly for single-family homes with equivalent increases for larger properties. It has been estimated it will add a little over $500,000 in additional revenue.

Jones and engineering consultant Peter Bell presented a stormwater project update during Council's March 9 public improvements committee meeting.

Projects for 2017 include:

A cost benefit analysis looking at several potential shapes and sizes of detention basins to be constructed in Marhofer Avenue's 1900 and 2000 blocks and then a final design selection.

The redesign and rebuilding of a stormwater outlet control structure in Wetmore Park on the north side of Kent Road, between Englewood Drive to the west and Park Drive to the east.

Jones said the project will greatly mitigate flooding in the area, including at Holy Family Parish on the other side of Park Drive.

"There would need to be 17 feet of water flowing over Kent Road for there to be any effect on the Holy Family storm sewer," he said.

Bidding out the replacement of a corrugated metal culvert in Leewood Road's 3800 block with a reinforced concrete culvert, as well as reshaping of a stream flowing into it to increase water capacity.

"The culvert is deteriorating and we're trying to replace that before anything," said Bell.

Future projects in that area, he said, include improvements to a storm sewer crossing Greentree Road and to the Silvercrest Drive stormwater detention basin.

Final work on the Mud Brook Stream restoration, including plantings within 1.75 acres scheduled for March 25 and May 11, with all work projected to be completed by the end of June.

"We have completed most of the work," said Bell.

The 2,400-foot-long project area is in a residential neighborhood north of Silver Lake Country Club and surrounded by Berkshire Road, Westminster Lane and Woodlake Boulevard. Work, which included widening the water flow, making the water shallower, thereby reconnecting the stream with its surrounding flood plain and allowing water to spread out more, is designed to prevent erosion.

The project was funded with a $248,000 Ohio Environment Protection Agency grant. The city's additional $166,000 share includes $40,000 in funding and $126,000 for in-kind services, including survey and design work and a public education component.

Installing catch basins in the area of Genevieve Boulevard's 3900 block and Klein Avenue's 4000 block to lessen flooding in some backyards there. The project is now being designed.

Improvements to a detention basin, including clearing, in Quail Highlands, northeast of Hammontree Circle. Also, redesigning and rebuilding a deteriorating water outlet control structure and adding erosion protections near the outlet.

Extending a storm sewer in Camden Drive's 5100 block to eliminate erosion in a public easement that is destroying a resident's backyard.

"The lady's yard is disappearing every year," said Jones.

Modifying a catch basin on the southeast corner of Hudson and Commerce drives to eliminate flooding in a ditch.

Projects in 2016 included:

Replacing a culvert near Treeside Drive.

"It was having some structural issues," said Bell, adding "This project is completed and functioning quite well."

Replaced a failing storm sewer in portions of Ritchie Road's 1700 and 1800 blocks with a larger one.

Replacing a deteriorated storm sewer manhole and adding erosion protections at the sewer outlet in Arndale Road's 1100 block.

Enclosing a deep ditch and adding 74 feet of storm sewer on the east side of Fishcreek Road between Lancashire Drive and Wexford Boulevard.


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