By Dedra Cordle
The village of Urbancrest could be in-line to receive county funding to make infrastructure improvements.
At its meeting on June 12, village officials discussed the prospect of roadway improvements after receiving a letter from the county engineer’s office stating that survey work would soon be conducted in order to determine what measures could be taken to alleviate the drainage issues that have been affecting the community for decades.
According to Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr., previous discussions with the county have led him to believe that the project would likely be modest in scope.
“I believe they will primarily look at our alleys because those have been magnets for water,” he said in an interview after the meeting. “They would likely do grading work to level the alleys and they would likely install a few drains in those alleys to help lessen the flooding that does occur there.”
Councilwoman Nikky Ziglar-Zimmerman said that while she was pleased to learn that the county was looking to make improvements to the roadway, she has concerns that the scope of the project as it currently stands would not eliminate the widespread flooding issues in the community.
“What about the properties that are not next to the alleys?” she asked. “They will still have those drainage issues.”
Barnes said that unfortunately those issues will have to be addressed by the property owner as the county cannot use local or federal dollars to solve drainage problems on private properties.
“While we may still have ponding here and there, it will be nothing like what we experience right now,” he said.
Barnes mentioned that the homeowners whose properties abut the alleys may have to agree to give up some right-of-way in order to do line work. He added that those homeowners would not lose property by doing so.
The county engineer’s office said that it would make repairs to any yards that may be impacted by the installation of new pipes to help the water flow to the storm sewer more efficiently.
Barnes said that he is not sure whether the project will be fully funded by the federal government or if the project will be matched using county and village dollars. He added that he believes the work will take place “sometime this summer” and would be completed within the year.
Barnes also said that the village could be in-line to receive roadway resurfacing next year. According to Barnes, these are the streets that are likely to be resurfaced: Second, Third and Fourth Avenues; Olive, Vine, Walnut and Maple Streets; John Cooley Drive; Lincoln Road; and Main Street.