Residents tired of being washed away

One drainage issue leads to another and another and another . . .

Staff reporter

A ripple effect took on new meaning Tuesday evening at the Hillsboro City Council meeting.

Council members heard drainage concerns from residents regarding a house being moved and placed on a basement in West Winds Addition located in the southwest part of Hillsboro.

Through a letter to the city council and city administrator Larry Paine, Pat Nuss said she had tried to secure a building permit to move a house from 408 S. Main, Hillsboro, to West Winds subdivision. Through telephone conversations with city personnel, Nuss said she was denied the permit.

Paine said neighbors were concerned that the new addition could exacerbate flooding issues already experienced in that area. However, Nuss has a right to develop her property according to the standard of the city's subdivision ordinance.

After further comments from residents, Paine told the audience of a dozen or so people that if only this one part of the issue was resolved, it would cause a domino effect with other areas of the city.

One suggestion was made to construct curb and gutter in the addition which would help to direct water flow. City consulting engineer Bob Privatera agreed that improvement to streets would help but wasn't the entire answer.

In the end, the council instructed Privatera to provide an engineer study with cost estimates to remedy the situation.

"Developing the plan is the easy part," councilman Bob Watson said. "The hard part is paying for it."

With that, Paine said since he had been with the city, there wasn't enough money now or probably ever to identify and correct all of the problems presented to him. The city had to carefully consider which problems to tackle and then figure out a means to pay for it.

Mayor Delores Dalke told the residents who wanted to see action taken that drainage corrections came at a price which could be passed on to the residents who benefit from the improvements.

Later in the meeting, Dalke said drainage problems are not unique to Hillsboro and every city had them.

It was anticipated that Privatera might have a plan for the council to review in four to six weeks.

Nuss commented that there was a limited time for her to be able to move the house to another location.

Paine advised the council that a "quick fix" would only lead to another problem and would not be recommended. The next time it rains, city officials are going to observe the flow of rain water in the city.

"The issue is the development of a capital improvement plan and strategy," Paine said. "All fo the drainage problems are connected."

He continued that the council needed to bite off small chunks so there aren't more problems created in the future.

In other business:

The council was informed that a developer had delivered a check for $20,000 for Lots 4 and 5 in Hillsboro Heights. The city was asking $25,250 for the two lots.

Paine suggested the city make a counter-offer. Marler suggested a counter-offer of $22,500. The others agreed.

The developer wanted to close on the lots by Friday.

A complete story of the meeting will be in next week's edition.