Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:46
Officials back move without acknowledging responsibility for problem
Village of Fredonia officials are not sure they are responsible for the problem, but have agreed to drain a flooded woods between Cedar Valley Road and Lawrence Street.
Cheryl Schaapveld appeared before the Village Board last month, protesting that stormwater is accumulating behind her home to the point that trees are dying.
Although the low area has often been soggy, Schaapveld said the problem has worsened since the village included curb and gutter on the roadway when it extended Martin Drive.
Without a storm sewer, the water has naturally flowed to the rear of her property, she said.
In addition to being a safety hazard for children, Schaapveld said she feared the standing water in the flooded woods would become a haven for mosquitoes.
“It is always wet back there in the spring, but this is as bad as it has been in 30 years,” Schaapveld said.
Village officials were tentative about getting involved in the issue, contending the state Department of Natural Resources has jurisdiction over water-related issues.
Trustees directed Village President Chuck Lapicola at an earlier meeting not to broach the subject with the DNR, fearing the village would end up facing a more costly solution to the drainage problem than they were interested in pursuing.
Trustees initially voted against pumping stormwater from the area, but reconsidered the solution at their June 20 meeting.
To satisfy DNR concerns about how the water will be handled, officials specified that the pumped water will be directed into the nearest stormwater catch basin.
“The pond is something we have pumped out in the past. We probably would have been better off if we had just done it again and not gotten the DNR involved,” Trustee Donald Dohrwardt said.
A miffed Dohrwardt said the protracted haggling over the issue was an example of the inefficiency of village government.
Addressing Schaapveld, he said, “Do you see why things never get done at the village? We are too worried about formalities.”
The drainage work is expected to be done next week.