Madison Township drainage woes

A trio of engineering options could provide a solution to drainage dilemmas experienced by residents in the Asbury area of Madison Township.

The three alternatives were on display during a May 21 Madison Township trustee meeting, during which Trustee Jim Hummel announced, while the cost of any of the options is over $100,000, the township discovered it can legally participate in a Wingate Road portion of the project.

"Everybody is in agreement to get this resolved once and for all," Hummel said. "We had our engineering firm survey the area, look at drainage, and come up with a cost to do the project. They gave us three options, but the amount of money is significantly different than what we discussed before. We’re at a point where we’ll need to decide how we’re going to handle that. I have a feeling residents aren’t ready to handle that amount (through a private endeavor). I know if the township engages in a percentage based on the right of way in the Wingate area, it’s roughly 10 percent."

According to Hummel, other than privately funding renovation of the drain tile system, approximately 60 homeowners impacted by changes could pay for the project through a county ditch petition and tax assessments. The taxable amount would be based on the size of individual parcels.

"Everybody pays their fair share and it lightens the load in a ditch petition," said Hummel. "It’s based on the amount of real estate on which they pay a percentage. The engineering cost is already where we’ve participated. One good thing about this is, if we do this, those (drainage) problems should be gone."

Hummel said the tile is in pretty good shape, but woefully insufficient. According to engineering designs, and much to Hummel’s surprise, a three foot diameter pipe was recommended to replace the half-foot one running through the area.

"It’s no wonder we’re having problems draining 60 acres through a six inch tile," commented Hummel. "If the township spends township money, it will be according to the engineering. It’s been made very clear to us what our (legal) limitations are, but it’s good news. The county is on board. The township is certainly on board. I’m not so sure about Columbus, but I don’t want to lose any momentum. I would suggest setting up a meeting to have a candid and open discussion with residents in the area."

Homeowners and township representatives tentatively set up a meeting on June 4, 7 p.m., at the Asbury United Methodist Church.

"We know the petition process is what we’ll probably have to do," said resident Jean Bepler. "I think the plan is a good plan."

Other Madison Township news

Two long time township employees were honored for their service following their retirement.

Police Department Sgt. Gary McDonald joined the force in 1975 and served 33 years. Tom Taft became a firefighter in 1980 and is stepping down after 28 years. Fire Chief Cliff Mason said Taft is hoping to accept a job with the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security office.

The board also accepted with regrets the May 30 retirement of Fire Department Capt. Steve Arms after 29 years of service with Madison Township.  

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