2018 project could plug flooding worries

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@aimmediamidwest.com

A $1.5 million sewer project could help end the persisting basement flooding that’s plagued homeowners along Lincoln Street and Sipple Avenue.

Heavy rains can overflow storm sewers in the central Amherst neighborhood, causing backups that are both costly and disgusting.

City council voted unanimously July 24 to ask the state for funds to help build an interceptor line in 2018.

It would be similar to the sewer installed in 2012 to shunt water from Mill Street to Beaver Creek, stopping runoff from ending up in downtown basements.

“This will divert more storm water, get it out of all those pipes going to the north, and stop a lot of the infiltration we’re dealing with,” said mayor Mark Costilow. “When the storm water (sewer) gets so full, it starts going out the cracks, gets in the wastewater, and then we have to treat it.”

“When the rains have been really bad, we’ve gone there with a great big portable pump and pump it from one sewer to another. That’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

The Lincoln-Sipple line wouldn’t go into the creek, but into a retention pond at the Beaver Creek Reservation.

The Lorain County Metro Parks have agreed to set aside an already-cleared area for retention, Costilow said.

In addition to an interceptor sewer, other lines in the area will be enlarged and street gutters will be improved.

The work will mean tearing up streets to get to sewers underneath, so most of Amherst’s Summer 2018 street paving budget will go toward the Lincoln-Sipple area, too.

In other city development news:

• Creation of a joint economic development district has been formally approved by both Amherst city council and Amherst Township trustees.

The district allows taxes from commercial development to be shared at the former Golden Acres Nursing Home property on Rt. 58.

Costilow said there are rumors of a buyer waiting in the wings, but no official word from the county on what might be built there.

• Rock Creek Ridge residents voiced concerns to the Amherst planning commission over construction of nine new homes by developer Britt Lilley.

They were upset a bridge might be constructed over the subdivision’s namesake waterway. “We tried to make it as clear as possible there is no plan for a bridge,” Costilow said.

North Dewey Road will be expanded and in another area a private drive will be created.

• Questions abound about the future of the former Big Boy restaurant and BP gas station property on Rt. 58.

Buried gas tanks were removed from the site near Kresge Drive, but neither the mayor, council president John Dietrich, or several county officials knew what the future holds there.

Building department secretary Tammy Paterson said no formal plans have been forward. County records show no indication the land has sold, though several people told us a deal is in the works.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk