By Jack Minor
Photo by Jack Minor
The city of Greeley is looking into options to replace a failing storm drain that may involve tearing up property owners’ yards and fences.
Ron Hoagland, Stormwater Manager for the city, said the pipe in question is in an older part of town but did not want to provide details regarding the exact neighborhood until the city had a chance to meet with property owners in the area and arrange for community meetings to discuss options. Hoagland did say it would be a substantial project involving over 700 feet of 30 inch pipe. The development was set up with the pipe going through yards and that will make the repairs difficult as there are multiple obstacles in the way such as trees, power poles and fences.
The pipes are made of corrugated metal which was the standard material at the time of construction and have begun to rust away after reaching the end of their natural life spans. Currently, the city’s preferred choice of materials is concrete as it lasts longer and is able to hold up under right-of-way locations. The city also uses plastic in some instances. Hoagland says concrete will tend to last 50-100 years compared to 10-15 for metal pipes. He hopes to hold public meetings regarding the project in the next month. “We have to make sure in our own minds it is the right thing to do.” Prior to the meeting, the city wants to prepare a thorough presentation with plans and slides. Hoagland says he has used a camera to take pictures inside the pipe that show where it is caved in and rusted out. “We want to show all these things to the citizens to help them understand how serious it is and what needs to be done.”
Hoagland re-iterated that this will not be an easy project, and does not expect to start it until sometime next year. The project will be paid for out of the Stormwater Utility Fund. The fund was set up in 2001 and charges a fee to all the property owners in the city based on the runoff from the property. The Stormwater Management Program uses the funds to make repairs and clean storm drains and pipes.
Hoagland expressed concern that if amendments 101, 60 and 61 are passed it could make it more difficult to get funding for these types of projects. He said one of the provisions would require enterprise funds to begin paying property taxes. The Storm Water Utility Fund is considered an enterprise fund as well as the water and sewer systems. Hoagland said this would affect the amount of revenue these funds will have available if they have to start paying property taxes. He also said it is unclear how they will determine valuation for water and sewer lines.
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Posted by Jack Minor in General News category