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Fenton Considering $12,000 Storm Water Study for North Leroy Street

Area to be examined would be the east side of North Leroy, from Dauner Road heading north to the city limits.

After Fenton City Council is considering a $12,000 study of the storm sewer system on the east side of North Leroy Street. Depending on when Fenton receives an opinion from the city attorney, the issue could come before council for a decision on Monday, Mayor Sue Osborn said.

The heavy rains caused flooding in the North Leroy Street area, and business owners voiced concerns to Fenton city staff about flooding in the street and on private property, said Director of Public Works Daniel Czarnecki. During their discussions, business owners and city staff discussed what could be done about the problem, including a possible storm drainage study for the area of North Leroy Street from Dauner Road to the north city limits.

Fenton’s engineering consultants from provided a proposal for the study. One cause of the flooding is believed to be an undersized section of storm sewer along the east side of North Leroy Street, the Sept. 28 proposal said. In addition, previously, the storm sewer emptied into Lake Fenton until it changed about 40 years ago. Now the storm water discharges into a 36-inch sewer on the south near Fenton Commons.

City Manager Lynn Markland said he and a consultant met with merchants about alternatives that might be available, instead of putting in a new storm water system that would be far too expensive. A detention area could be installed, with property owners probably paying a special assessment. It’s their storm water, not the city’s, Markland said, and the real issue is water from rooftops and parking lots on private property.

Councilman Les Bland said he isn’t against looking at storm sewer problems, but it is on private property. He said Fenton should ask for a legal opinion.

Councilwoman Cheryl King asked whether the property owners could reimburse the city for the study.

Carolyn Nance, who leases the property for said her store flooded twice lately and has flooding problems three to four times annually.

“I have water pouring in,” she said.

She doesn’t own the property, so she can leave anytime, Nance said. But the next people in the building would have the same problem. The flooding went into ACO Hardware and filled the dock at she said.

After analyzing the drainage system, OHM would provide a list of alternatives and help assess and evaluate what would make sense financially, said Kent Early, of OHM. In general, options would include installing site by site detention systems on commercial property; providing detention on a regional basis by removing the storm sewer and replacing it with an oversized pipe; reconnecting the system to Lake Fenton; or increasing the size of the storm sewer and addressing its elevation.

Czarnecki said the west side of the road has a higher elevation than the east side, and for water to go from the east to the west side, it needs to travel up.

Bland said stormwater carries gas, oil and other runoff from streets. Currently, the water goes across a wetland area where materials are siphoned off. The groundwater level there is 10 feet below ground near he added.

Jason Alexander October 02, 2012 at 11:59 AM
What do you think?
stephanie pytlowanyj October 02, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I feel for the business's but this is a problem of the property owner.
Pete Toriello October 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM
The study [which should have been done BEFORE the roadway was improved] should be co-funded by the City AND the Commercial Property Owners. Run-off water must not be directed in ways that will hurt the environment such as lakes or wetlands. Our Legal Beaver should determine City liability, if any for this situation. If the commercial properties were constructed with the knowledge of the elevation/run-off potential problems then the City most likely bears no legal responsibility except for any State/Fed/EPA regulations. The above is just my opinion. Pete Toriello
Jane Webber October 03, 2012 at 12:57 AM
This is NOT a NEW problem.... for many years this parking lot has flooded.... should have been addressed before the road was done but everything else in Fenton it will be done backwards... I feel for ya.... glad I don't live there.

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