EC council asks county to adopt floodwater study

April 6, 2021 Cranberry Local News

Another one.

With the group of municipalities joining a study aimed at resolving flooding in Butler County's southern tier in early 2020, now comes a rash of boroughs and townships approving the final report of that study.

With a handful of other areas having approved the report, Evans City Borough Council on Monday unanimously joined the chorus of those calling on the county commissioners to adopt the lengthy study.

Among the study's provisions are recommendations for release rates, or the amount of water that can be released from a property following development, as well as an average of three suggested projects in the 10 member municipalities.

In Evans City, two suggested projects total an estimated $45,000 to $300,000 — although Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, the engineering firm behind the study, also takes the step of recommending the borough not undertake flood control measures along Breakneck Creek.

The two projects suggested by HRG are a cost-benefit analysis for a capital improvement and maintenance plan, as well as stormwater conveyance system improvements, particularly in the northeast portion of the borough.

The cost-benefit analysis suggested by HRG includes a comprehensive assessment of the condition of Evans City's stormwater management system, including the identification of “flooding problem areas and the identification and mapping of the borough's stormwater assets.”

HRG states such an analysis would allow the borough to more adequately plan for work and funding of both annual maintenance and capital improvement and flood mitigation projects.

The engineering firm estimates an initial assessment could cost about $20,000, with the price of a full plan — including mapping, project planning, design and finding funding alternatives — between $100,000 and $150,000.

In terms of improving stormwater conveyance systems, HRG states the northeast “portion of the borough has very few stormwater management facilities” such as sewers, swales and curbs on roadways.

HRG suggests this effort could be used in conjunction with the cost-benefit analysis, allowing a phased approach to designing and installing improvements.

The benefit of that, the engineering firm says, is the borough could study that segment more in-depth, including surveying, mapping, figuring out which permits are required and finding funding sources.

Such a study, according to HRG, could cost $25,000 for “localized areas” to $150,000 for the entire northeast quarter of Evans City.

Councilwoman Diana Zoelle said the approval of the resolution was critical to moving forward “no matter how we fund the program,” but noted the county is actively involved in finding funding.

“Mark Gordon, the (county) chief of economic development, has been talking to legislators about these projects, and in essence he's drawing attention to Butler County and the growth collaborative in Butler County, but he's pointing to these projects in particular right now,” Zoelle said. “This is really good for us. It's good timing.”

Alex J. Weidenhof

Alex J. Weidenhof