BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Boardman Township trustees reassured those in attendance at their meeting Monday night that they’re doing everything possible to alleviate the township’s flooding problems. But still, people wondered why more can’t be done right now.
Trustees say there is not one fix, but rather, many fixes that will be dealt with over time.
Bobbie Hosa lives on Glenwood Avenue next to what has come to be called the “Boardman ditch,” which has overflowed twice in the past nine months.
“I went to bed last night. It was raining. I dreamt that we flooded. Driving home from North Lima today Market Street was flooded. My last 10-minute ride home from work I was worried we were flooded. It is an ongoing issue. It has to be taken care of,” he said.
Hosa told her story at Monday’s meeting, the first time trustees have met since the May 28 flooding.
“I’d like to be able to do some really big picture projects starting at either the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree.
Loree said the $900,000 being collected each year through the ABC (Austintown, Boardman, Canfield) Water District will pay to rebuild storm sewers, widen drainage ditches and build detention ponds.
But first, money will be spent to hire an engineering firm to create a master plan, which could cost $300,000 to $800,000.
“You’re looking at the whole area, so you’re looking at the entire flood plan map and every structure that ties into it,” Loree said.
“Can there be a moratorium on blacktopping new areas along Market Street until this new study is completed?” asked homeowner Mark Sweetwood, who lives on South Shore Drive.
The answer is no because it would be illegal to stop someone from legally developing their land. But, Boardman is considering new zoning laws that may require less blacktop and more landscaping.
“You’ve got about 50 homeowners in our little corner of the world that are fighting basement flooding, watching the [water] go out of control. Frankly, the Jeep dealership fills us all with fear. It’s more land being taken up, more blacktop,” Sweetwood said.
The next ABC Water District meeting is Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Boardman Township Hall. Hopefully, that meeting will have more details about Boardman’s flood control master plan.