(Posted Oct. 25, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
London has landed a $750,000 neighborhood revitalization grant for drainage improvements, new fire hydrants, and installation of a small park, all in Ward 3 on the city’s south side.
The Ohio Department of Development announced the grant award on Oct. 21. Madison County government officials applied for the funding on behalf of the city through the state’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The city will provide $56,000 in matching funds toward the project.
Residents throughout Ward 3 have reported flooded basements and streets. Oak Run drains a large area of London’s north and west sides. When that passes through the south side, the waterway can’t handle the additional runoff when it rains. The existing storm system in the area is made up of a mix of obsolete clay tiles, many of which have collapsed, and storm lines installed in the past 20 years.
The city and the county have been working since 2014 to install new drainage in the area. When applying for the state grant, city officials prioritized the areas that need the most attention at this time. Approximately half of the grant money will go toward installation of new storm sewer lines as follows:
• Along South Madison Road, from Center Street to the road’s dead end–South Madison Road has no drainage and a fall of 15 feet, running south from Center Street. This causes homes at the end of the road to flood.
• Along South Walnut Street, from Metro Court to Lincoln Avenue, and in the alley that runs between Riley and Stewart avenues–There is no drainage on South Walnut Street which has a 20-foot fall, running south of Center. As a result, storm water runs down the slope and settles in the low area between Riley and Stewart avenues, causing homes to flood.
Another $172,500 of the grant will go toward relining 1,800 linear feet of sanitary sewer line along Olive Street. During community meetings leading up to the grant application, residents reported flooding that turned out to be raw sanitary sewage leaking from the existing Olive Street line mixed with storm water.
Another portion of the grant money will go toward replacement of 10 fire hydrants in Ward 3 that the fire department deem to be obsolete because parts are no longer available for repairs or the hydrants are no longer operable.
The remaining $140,000 in grant money is set aside for installation of a “pocket” park on the east side of Toland Street, south of the Toland Street bridge. Geared for children ages 3 to 6 years old, the small park will include playground equipment, a shelter house, lighting, and a security camera.
“Applying for the CDBG grant was a collaborative effort between the city administration and individuals from the community,” said Amy Rees, executive assistant in London’s administrative offices. “We are excited for the funds to be dedicated to the third ward for projects that will improve utilities and give children a safe place to play.”
According to Whitaker Wright, senior planner for CDC of Ohio, the county’s grant administrator, engineering and design work likely will begin in December or January after which the project will go out to bid. CDBG rules require that the project be completed by August 2024.