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Canfield residents discuss storm water issues at ABC meeting

June 19, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

A group of area residents attended the ABC Storm Water District meeting on June 12 to gain more information on the recent flooding issues. ABC board members listened to their concerns and informed them of the next steps to be taken.

In the prior day's Canfield Township meeting, township administrator and ABC Storm Water District board member Keith Rogers gave an update on the prior week's storm damage.

"Doppler radar from the May 28 storm event said we received six inches of rain in three hours," Rogers said. "If every catch basin and storm sewer were perfect, there would still be no way to stop what happened. The next day we met with the [local] EMA (Emergency Management Agency) and learned how to assess homes for damage. On June 6 we met with the Ohio EMA and did a walk through. We've been doing as much as we can."

He did say the area had enough damage to qualify for low interest loans.

Among the residents in attendance was one city resident who didn't identify herself. She said she was at the meeting to find out what was going on. She had attended the city meeting and had been "fighting" with city officials about flooding in back of St. Michael's Church off Ohio State Route 46. She was informed by Rogers that the ABC Storm Water District collects a fee from township residents that is used for storm water projects in the township only. He said there was nothing ABC could do for city residents as the city handles its own storm water lines.

ABC board member Jason Loree from Boardman Township made sure to let people know the district can only deal with storm water lines and issues. He said the County Sanitary Engineer handles sanitary sewers.

One thing Loree shed light on was the fact older homes were frequently using the sanitary sewer to connect downspouts and basement floor drains too. He said when major storm event happens, the water rushes into the sanitary system and causes it to back up through the basement drains. He said this is an illegal connection today and residents can be forced to do a proper connection to the storm sewer and could be fined as well.

Canfield resident David Moliterno asked about people who dump grass clippings and leaves into storm drains.

"If it can be proven, that person can be fined too," Loree said. "In the case of a grass clog, we can clean it out, then charge the home owner."

As for what is being done, Rogers, Loree and Austintown board member Mike Dockry voted and approved forming a master plan to deal with the flooding issues in Boardman and Canfield. The storm water fee on resident's real estate taxes has brought in $900,000 for Boardman and $300,000 for Canfield. Money brought in by each community can only be used for that community, unless there is a joint project benefitting both where both could pay a share of the project.

With the desire to form a master plan approved, the first step is to collect data. The ABC board approved the purchase and installation of six weather stations at a cost not to exceed $12,000. Four would be located in Boardman and two in Canfield.

Approval was also given to provide three flow meters for a three month testing period at a cost not to exceed $8,000.

Rogers said once the date is collected and studies are done, the district should have a plan in place and work can begin. He said it may mean building retention ponds up stream to ease the amount of water running towards Lockwood Boulevard. As a storm water district, the land could be purchased and the ponds designed and built. The district can also apply for federal funds to make the ABC monies go further. Rogers said Canfield Township alone could not apply for a lot of the federal funds.



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