09/13/05 — Town board OKs drainage line for Crest Drive

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Town board OKs drainage line for Crest Drive

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 13, 2005 1:50 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Town officials have a plan on how to handle the next wave of rain that hits Mount Olive streets this fall -- a new drainage line.

The Mount Olive Town Board voted unanimously Monday to install a 48-inch line along the south side of Crest Drive to relieve the flooding that occurs during heavy rains.

The vote drew applause from a large group of residents who have been having flooding problems.

Town Manager Ray McDonald told the board an 18-inch line that runs along the north side is currently restricting the flow of the water past the yards. He said the town's engineer expects that adding the 48-inch line will cut more than half out of the water that is now flowing into the yards.

McDonald also recommended installing a berm from U.S. 117 to Crest Drive to raise the water level on the other side and put most of the water in the nearby swamp. The berm would raise the stream bank about three feet, he said.

"It's a quick fix to give you relief," he told a large crowd of residents gathered at the meeting to ask for help with their flooding problems.

Crest Drive resident Steve Webster said it's only a matter of time before a child tries to cross the floodwaters and drowns.

Dorothy Evans said she and her husband did not choose to build their home in Mount Olive as waterfront property 14 years ago, but that is what it becomes when the heavy rains come.

"We need your help now," she said.

McDonald said the installation of the 48-inch line should help and would fit into the town's five-year flood plan, which is still being completed, McDonald said. The state could make a different recommendation, but the engineer insisted this plan is the "fastest, quickest."

Previous studies showed it would cost more than $200,000 to have contractors do the work, but McDonald recommended using Public Works employees. He said the engineer expects the project will cost $75,000 if the town does the work.

"We can put it in ourselves. If we can't run a straight line 846 feet, we may as well pack up and go home," he said.

McDonald said the project might cost a little more if the town workers have to move the line to avoid sewer lines or Progress Energy cables, but added that if the bill came in under $100,000, he would consider the work a success.

"I believe $75,000 is a conservative figure," he said. "You won't know until you get started whether you will run into a problem with the sewer lines."

McDonald told the board he would come back and ask for more money if he runs short.

He said holding ponds the town is already in the process of installing in the Crest Drive area and near the college are not included in this plan. The holding ponds are in conjunction with installing the lines, he said. The town has purchased the land for the ponds and has requested a state permit, which McDonald expects will take a month or two to receive.