Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
Stormwater repairs for 1st and Meriwood were previously discussed briefly at the April 14 city council meeting as part of a residential complaint about flooding homes in the area.
David Hamby, city engineer, presented a brief summary of the timeline of the project at Thursday night’s council meeting.
He said the project was approved in October 2019 as part of the 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan because of known flooding in the area.
Hamby said in June 2020 and October 2020 they approved working with BG Consultants and J. Richardson Construction Company with the final project approval in August 2021.
“It was approved to to remove the 35 foot linear pipe with a 30 inch pipe,” he said.
Screenshots of texts between Hamby with Trey Whitaker, public works director, from April 28 were shared showing there was visible water in the ditch, vegetation established, water either being absorbed or draining and certain erosion controls were being maintained.
Josie Stambaugh, council member, said Megan and Kenneth Norman who own property in the area are still experiencing flooding.
“The gutter buddies are to make sure they are not flooded but one is clogging the flow,” she said. “The last rainfall their house flooded again. This is still actively flooding.”
Stambaugh said because of the elevation of the ditches it was dangerous to use a running lawnmower especially with turning.
“It’s pretty steep,” she said. “There’s trash and stagnant water.”
Stambaugh said she wanted to know the reason why they weren’t using a full pipe.
Don Roberts, mayor, said one of the factors was cost but the ditches were more environmentally sound now.
Beth Linn, city manager, said they had just started the Stormwater master plan.
“There were a lot of concerns then, and we have yet to present entirety of the plan project,” she said. “We knew it was a limited project to address some concerns.”
Stambaugh said there are grants available and asked if the city uses them.
October is the time council members decide their priorities with the option to finish or change a project, Linn said.
Clay Longanecker, council member, said he would like to see photos before the completion of the project.
Hamby said they had been brought in to solve a specific problem and scoping the intersection had been limited with the pipe and ditch at Meriwood.
“It is somewhat limited,” he said. “We replaced the bigger pipe. The land is really flat, and we put in the storm sewer with reconstruction of the street.”
Hamby said gutter buddies were meant to hold water to help grass grow.
“You’re going to have bird baths,” he said.
Hamby said it had been designed within the right -a-way and the ditches were not meant for riding lawn mowers.
“It has limited mobility,” he said.
Hamby said the active construction was to slow down the water flow with the help of the gutter buddies and to be pulled out during a storm.
Longanecker said he wanted to know about the percentage of the grade.
Hamby said it varies and is either very flat or steep.
“It is based on water and the pipe and designed on velocity,” he said.

Other News
• Trey Whitaker, public works superintendent, presented a brief update on the 2022 Street Preservation Program.
Whitaker said they recommended West 5th Street from Morgan St/56 Highway to the cul-de-sac and West Nelson Street to Martin Street along with West Martin Street from West 5th to 7th Street and the West Martin cul-de-sac be added to the program from UBAS treatment.
UBAS is a Ultrathin Bonded Asphalt Surface and the streets will include targeted base repair. The asphalt pavement maintenance system seals existing road surface and a 5/8 of an inch chip seal is also included.
Whitaker said with CARS the City had done UBAS patching for several roads the last few years.
“It is a smooth surface and improves the quality,” he said.
Linn said the city crews do crack seal.
Longanecker said he wanted to know if the road gets scratched is it patched over because parts of his street had scratches.
Whitaker said they do but crack seal it.
“We go back and take a look to see it and new construction in town,” he said. “It increases longevity.”
Roberts said his experience had been that UBAS works better than slurry seal and it is really done well.
• housekeeping items related to Frontier Days ranging from parking, building and public space use and alcoholic consumption were approved. Revised maps of street closures were provided. Frontier Days will be held Father’s Day Weekend Friday June 17 and Saturday June 18.
• the submittal for the 1st and Hulett Sanitary Sewer Project to Johnson County for funding through the 2023 Community Development Block Grant was approved.
No one spoke at the public hearing.
The city applied for the $200,000 sewer line project to continue the sewer line at 7th and Nelson Streets to the East, but hoped they would receive enough funding to continue South too.