(Posted Aug. 28, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“I need more confidence in you guys,” said Jerry Bales to city leaders at the Aug. 17 London city council meeting.
Bales, a Graham Avenue resident, said flood-related debris was still a problem on Stewart and Riley avenues—the same debris he complained about at the council meeting on Aug. 3.
Theresa Hennis, also a Graham Avenue resident, said she’d seen a crew scoping the storm sewers for problems, but otherwise had not seen much activity in the form of clean-up.
“I’m at the end of my rope,” she said.
Council member Rex Castle assured those who spoke at the meeting and called into the city offices that they are being heard. “We will get this taken care of,” he said. Council member Josh Peters urged patience.
“You have to give us a chance,” said council member Lora Long.
Mayor Patrick Closser presented an update on what city crews have done and plan to do in the aftermath of the heavy flooding that occurred last month. It consists of assessing creek beds for dredging, repairing broken tiles, water jetting tiles, cleaning catch basins, assessing farmland drainage, and sending cameras down into the sewers to check for clogs.
The target areas are Graham Avenue, Jacquelin Drive, Marimont Avenue and Graceland Drive, Elm and High streets, Center Street/Route 665, Garfield Avenue and Jacob Lane, and Burr Park. Closser noted that illegal dumping of blacktop and concrete was a major problem in two of the areas.
Charles Reese, a Jacquelin Drive resident, said he saw two men cleaning catch basins on his street on Aug. 17.
“I appreciate that,” he said.
Closser stated that Graham Avenue was the first area to which the city sent the camera crew. The initial bid for camera work, he said, was $175 per hour.
Bales asked why the city has not invested in its own camera/scoping equipment. Bill Long, the new street superintendent, said the equipment cost used to be astronomical but is now more affordable at $50,000 to $70,000. He suggested that the street department and the Board of Public Utilities look into buying the equipment and splitting the cost.
During the business portion of the meeting, council approved the issuance of bonds for the $1.64 million renovation project to turn the former primary school building on Walnut Street into consolidated city offices. They went with a 15-year term over a 20-year term for a more competitive rate. The measure passed 6-1 with Lora Long casting the lone “no” vote.
In other action, Closser declared Aug. 28 as Bow Tie Day in London. Known for wearing bow ties (not to mention novelty socks), Closser encourages citizens to join in the fun of this nationally declared holiday. A tidbit from the proclamation: “Whether you buy new, borrow one from grandpa’s closet, or fashion one from papier-mache, it makes no difference on National Bow Tie Day.”