Stormwater project to start in May
By Stephanie Johns
April showers bring May flowers, as the saying goes. For those residing in the Canaan Neighborhood of Madison, May will “flower” with a stormwater construction project.
Work to improve stormwater drainage will begin in May, according to Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan.
Callahan shared details of the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) during a recent Town Hall meeting. Approximately 19 people in addition to the almost half-a-dozen city representatives attended.
When it rains, water damages property and floods portions of the streets along Burney, Mapp, Pearl, and Whitehall streets.
This “highly competitive grant” takes federal money and siphons it back to the community, she said.
“We would not have gotten the money without your contributions,” she said. “We will try our best to do a really good job for your neighborhood.”
Another reason they received the grant: this area is part of the Urban Redevelopment Area (URA).
The city recently received a Revitalization Area Strategy (RAS) certification, which means that they will be able to apply for two more grants back-to-back to benefit the URA.
Callahan said they will contact those who will be directly affected during the project and ask for easements.
“About 11 people will get calls because they are in the strategic area where pipes will go in,” she said.
As to who will be employed to do the work, Callahan said there will be a bid process that encourages the project contractor to hire locally.
“We will take the lowest bids and the contractor will sign documents saying he made an effort to hire locally,” she said. Those bids will be opened mid-April.
Work is set to begin in May and should be completed by mid-October.
Callahan said they are aware that other areas have water problems.
“We spent $11,000 with engineers looking at the biggest problems,” she said. “We’re tackling the biggest problem areas first.”
At no time during the project will residents be prevented from accessing their homes, she said.
“You will always be able to get to your houses,” she said. “You will never be required to park away from your home.”
Callahan said they saw just how bad the stormwater problem is and that a solution is in sight.
“We saw firsthand just how stressed some of you were,” she said. “Just be patient a few more months and then it’ll be done.”
Printed in the December 27, 2012 edition