Clintonville’s industrial park needs larger storm pipes
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville City Council learned at its meeting Tuesday, March 8 that it could cost $460,000 to fix the flooding issues on Spring Street in the city’s industrial park.
Jared Schmidt, an engineer and vice president and the civil/municipal engineering manager for Robert E. Lee and Associates, shared with the council reasons for the flooding in that area of the industrial park. The flooding impacts Creative Converting and Walker Forge.
Around 123 acres of land drain into the Spring Street area. That includes around 60 acres of residential properties and 60 acres of industrial properties, Schmidt said. Two major storm sewer systems combine and flow down Spring Street.
“What we found is, more or less, too much water trying to go through too small of a pipe during these large events,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the focus of the study was based on a 10 year event, which is four inches of rainfall over a 24 hour period. Schmidt said a typical municipal sewer system is sized for a five to 10 year event.
The area starts showing signs of flooding with just a couple inches of rain in a 24 hour period, he said.
For a 10 year event, the flooding level is high enough that it exceeds the height of the manholes.
“We’re actually seeing water leaving the system, going out into the ditches,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said several different alternatives were considered, including: adding a secondary storm sewer, rerouting the storm sewer, installing a retention pond, and completely reconfiguring the way water drains in the area.
“What we kept coming back to is that we need to upsize the capacity of that pipe within Spring Street,” Schmidt said.
This scenario could also include reconstructing Industrial Avenue, allowing for the capacity of those storm sewer pipes to be increased. This is a secondary recommendation.
The current storm sewer system in the area is flat and undersized, he said.
Schmidt recommended the city replace the 36-inch pipe with a 54-inch pipe down Spring Street. On Industrial Avenue, Schmidt recommended the city increase part of the pipe from a 36-inch pipe to a 42-inch pipe. It was also suggested in the future, the city increase the 24-inch pipe to a 36-inch pipe on Industrial Avenue.
A secondary option would be to replace the 36-inch pipe on Spring Street with a 48-inch pipe.
“Obviously every size you go bigger, the more it’s going to cost,” Schmidt said.
The cost of the recommended option is estimated at $460,000. The project would cost $60,000 less if the city went with the secondary option of a 48-inch pipe instead of a 54-inch pipe.
He also recommended relocating a storm sewer located near Walker Forge.
The recommendations also include costs of $36,000 for Walker Forge and $15,700 for Creative Converting.
Schmidt told the council that there is a grant available that could pay up to 50 percent of the cost of the project. The application is due the end of May and would be for funding in 2017.
“That’s something that would have to happen over the next month and a half in order to be ready for submittal in the middle to end of May,” Schmidt said.
Alderman Brad Rokus acknowledged the flooding is a serious issue, but questioned if the city would be moving too fast to have the project ready in 2017, considering there is still a lot of information to be obtained.
“We need to move forward on it, but we don’t need to be hasty about it,” Rokus said.
He also suggested the city might want to consider creating a storm water utility to help raise revenue for these types of projects.
Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell agreed that a storm water utility should be researched, but he recommended the council move forward and apply for the grant for this project.
The council asked Rick Recktenwald of Walker Forge for his opinion on how soon the city should act on the issue.
“From what I’ve talked to Creative Converting they might have a more serious situation,” Recktenwald said. “Their water ends up in their electrical system.”
He added that Walker Forge has invested in more than $2 million in storm water retention ponds to avoid all the hard space additions added at the facility.
“I would expect that Walker Forge can tolerate an extension because we can have people park elsewhere. I don’t know that Creative Converting has the flexibility that we do,” he said.
Craig Sorenson of Creative Converting also addressed the council.
He said Creative Converting spent roughly $20,000 last year to install extra drain tiles to help alleviate the flooding issue.
There are times when the water reaches the buildings. When that happens production in the facility has to stop and 50-60 employees have to clean up water, Sorenson said.
He said the flooding happens a couple times each year.
He also recommended a 54-inch pipe be installed.
The council unanimously approved applying for the grant. Alderman Steve Kettenhoven was absent from the meeting.