July 23, 2015
CITY OF HURSTBOURNE
304 WHITTINGTON PARKWAY / SUITE 100
Mayor Mary Schneider called to order the special meeting of the Hurstbourne City Commission which had been called for the purpose of discussing the recent drainage problems in the City due to heavier than normal rainfall. The meeting had been called pursuant to KRS 61.823, and notice had been sent to the newspapers requesting such notice.
A quorum of the Commission was present.
Present: Mary Schneider, Mayor
Earl Hubbuch, Commissioner
Ben Jackson, Commissioner
Rusty Wells, Commissioner
Lois Wagner, Commissioner
Also Present: Jim Leidgen, C.A.O.
John Singler, City Attorney
Chris Crumpton, City Engineer
Present from Metropolitan Sewer District were: Greg Heitzman, Executive Director; Tony Marconi, Operations Support Manager; and Angela Akridge, Chief Engineer.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mayor Schneider.
Mayor Schneider said the City of Hurstbourne has worked for many years with MSD and appreciates their cooperation in various other projects. The Commission is now trying to find resolutions to existing problems in the City.
City Engineer Chris Crumpton gave a brief summary of several of the issues in and around Hurstbourne. He has been involved with the City for about 10 years, and some of the complaints go back a number of years. He said he and the Commission are trying to identify problems throughout the entire City and then come up with an over-all solution. He gave a history of some of the major problems, and noted that several tributaries outside Hurstbourne actually empty into the City.
C.A.O. Leidgen presented a number of pictures of recent flooding in the City.
Greg Heitzman of MSD noted that these huge floods are dangerous situations that are occurring more frequently. He was aware that this area was heavily impacted, and apologized for their inability to handle matters like this because they do not have the necessary physical resources. He said MSD needs to educate folks, and they are making plans to address similar circumstances in the future. They plan to attend meetings in various neighborhoods in an effort to compile information to determine what steps should be taken. Since various areas of government have different areas of responsibility, they will attempt to identify addresses with difficulties and try to notify the appropriate party. They hope to identify long-term and short-term solutions, and then perhaps partner with certain communities for smaller issues. They will continue to work with Engineer Crumpton in an effort to identify those locations that need immediate assistance. Since many of the problems have come from development (homes, businesses and road construction) the questions will be whether the correction will justify the expense involved, whether development should be limited, and whether building permits should be approved before drainage issues are corrected.
Visuals were shown which indicated the intensity of the rain.
Forty-five (45) residents or interested individuals signed in for the meeting. The following signed up to speak:
Lois Coleman, 8622 Blackpool Dr., said she has an ongoing problem and the last flooding inundated her back yard.
Gene Embry, 8911 Lippincott Road, said Mr. Heitzman had answered his questions.
John Hackett, 708 Col. Anderson Parkway and on behalf of his daughter at 803 Col. Anderson Parkway, reported that water comes through a drainage pipe from the golf course into his daughter’s yard.
Brendan McAuliffe on behalf of Hank Davis of 801 Colonel Anderson had the same concerns as Mr. Hackett with water coming from the golf course into his yard.
Walter Pritchett of Hurstbourne Country Club explained some of the similar problems they experienced during the latest storm.
Jim Letoirrneau, 1107 Oxmoor Woods Parkway, expressed concern about problems with the sanitation sewers at his home. Mr. Heitzman said they would take his address and look to determine where the problem may be coming from.
Julio C. Melo, 8516 Cheffield Dr., gets water from surrounding development. His ditch is partially filled with dirt and doesn’t drain as well as it once did. MSD will look into this.
David Miller, 8201 Salford Way, showed a picture of the high water in his back yard and has had water in his house two separate times recently.
Pam Miller, 9205 Whitegate Court, has been fighting water for 33 years and has been told several times by MSD that they would correct the problem. She suggested a retention basin be constructed in that area.
Mary Ann Moore, 9203 Whitegate Court, has a bridge over a creek behind her property and the bridge has been covered with water many times recently.
Joel Stream, 910 Rugby Place, reported that teenagers drove through the creek near his home, their engine quit, and they landed in his yard. He expressed concern about medical emergencies when cars can’t get through because of the flooding. He suggested a county-wide master plan should be developed that interfaces with other surrounding counties and that the identified projects should be prioritized. Mr. Heitzman responded that they are working on a comprehensive 20-year county-wide plan with priorities, but he reiterated that those solutions will also require a great deal of funds.
Heather R. Peters was representing Dr. Archibald and Mr. Pedley of 9100 Denington Dr. Their basement has been covered with water for the fourth time in five years. Ms. Peters said MSD has a duty to correct these problems as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
Ed Schaat, 9201 Whitegate Ct., said their small creek is now being utilized as a drainage ditch. He expressed concern that many of the drains are covered with grass and the water can’t get through. He believes the problems are bigger than Hurstbourne can handle and that we should be asking Metro Council for assistance. Mayor Schneider said the City has communicated with Councilwoman Marilyn Parker and is partnering with her to find solutions.
Sandy Collins, 8902 Cromwell Hill, said the flooding has caused a great deal of financial loss to individuals in the City.
Daryl Rexroat, 8807 Denington Dr., lives near the golf course and has an ongoing problem. He was concerned that emergency vehicles would not be able to get to his home with flooding as serious as it was in the recent storm. There also is a large hole in his street that MSD has not repaired; MSD will look into this.
Robert Davis, 710 Nottingham Parkway, asked what residents get for the drainage fee they pay. Mr. Heitzman explained that the biggest priority for the funds collected through the drainage fee is to pay off a debt of $1.8 billion. The second priority is operating costs of $105 million, so there are no funds left for capital projects and they have to again borrow money for that purpose. EPA regulates what they must do to be in compliance with the Clean Water Act; therefore, there are few funds left for drainage projects. They are currently underfunded for drainage improvements but they are hopeful that will change in the future.
Engineer Crumpton stated he and C.A.O. Leidgen will be gathering complaints and will work with MSD on how to implement those solutions.
MSD said they will present a preliminary report within ninety (90) days. Mayor Schneider stated that Hurstbourne will partner with Metro Council, the Hurstbourne Country Club and hopefully the State Highway Department. She further stated that the City Commission is committed to getting these problems fixed. They will be sending out copies of the minutes from this meeting to those in attendance.
At 6:50 p.m. Commissioner Jackson made the motion to adjourn. His motion was seconded by Commissioner Hubbuch; motion carried.