There was no decision to move forward on a roughly $1 million storm sewer project for Pettisville at a Thursday, Feb. 15 joint meeting of the German Township Trustees, Clinton Township Trustees, and Fulton County Commissioners.
But there was a decision to pursue a smaller storm sewer repair project on the west side of the community.
For at least two years, Ziam Musallam, director of public utilities, has been working on a project to provide Pettisville with improved storm water collection.
That project has progressed to the point where a commitment of money is needed.
Designed by Jones & Henry, an engineering firm, the project recommends a 36- inch storm sewer pipeline along Main Street, or Co. Rd. 19, from the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks south to a ditch just north of Co. Rd. D.
The plan also calls for two additional pipelines, 12 to 15 inches in diameter.
One extends east from Main Street on Dame Street to a point in the 400 block. The other extends east on Summit Street to Wilson Street.
In total, the system would service a total of 52.2 acres.
There are a potential of 237.5 “benefit units” in the project. A benefit unit is roughly equivalent to a single-family home of 2,000 square feet.
Properties with more developed area, such as bigger buildings, parking lots, etc., would make up more than one benefit unit.
If costs are assessed against property owners, Musallam estimated the cost could range from $2,148.24 to $4,296.48 per benefit unit.
If the costs are assessed for a period of as much as 30 years through property taxes, interest would be added to the total.
Musallam said so far, the county has paid about $30,000 in engineering fees.
He detailed several potential funding sources ranging from grants to zero- to low-interest rates loans, to a combination of the two.
Under some programs, the storm sewer project doesn’t qualify for one reason or another.
A survey was sent in October 2016 to 135 property owners that will benefit from the project. Three were in favor of the project, 12 were in favor if half of the project cost is covered by a grant, and 24 indicated they are not in favor of the project.
Ninety-six surveys were not returned. An unreturned survey is considered a no vote.
Musallam said the percentage rate for surveys returned did not qualify the storm sewer project for funding under the Community Development Block Grant program.
To qualify for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant, the project is required to score 97 points when evaluated by the OPWC.
It was assigned a value of 42.
When asked how much rain the proposed storm sewer could handle, Musallam said it would provide drainage for the type of storm that can be expected every year or every other year.
If there is a one-in-25-year storm, there would still be flooding.
The combined group agreed to move forward with a repair and modification of a storm sewer drain in the German Street area.
An underground storm drain line made of clay pipe runs under the house at 383 German Street, owned by Jessie O. and Jane G. Rodriguez.
Rod Creager, Fulton County chief deputy engineer, said a camera was run through the drainage tile.
He showed the group the video that shows the pipeline is partially collapsed. Some water was still able to get through the obstruction, but the flow was restricted.
He said it is believed the drainage tile was installed in 1929.
The solution to the problem is to reroute the drainage tile around the house, then tie it back into the old tile that continues west for about 4,000 feet, where it empties into a ditch.
The cost for the repair is estimated at $18,000.
The group also approved developing a cost estimate for continuing the storm drain line east to the rear of the Pettisville Garage property at 393 Main Street.
The addition to the storm drain should alleviate flooding at the property, owned by Gary Esterline, Pettisville.
Because the line will provide storm drainage for the east side of Main Street as well as west, German and Clinton townships will share in the cost, along with the commissioners.
Several public officials said once the German Street storm drain line is repaired, there may be significant relief of flooding in the area.
In the meantime, Musallam was advised to continue searching for grant funding for the major project.