Soggy Madison Township

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Residents in Asbury Manor in Madison Township continue to  hope for a dry solution to wet basements and flooding that occurs during heavy downpours.

Jean Bepler, speaking on behalf of many local homeowners, updated the Madison Township trustees on April 16 of her group’s efforts, but admitted members are unsure what direction they should take after talking with a contractor.

Trustee Jim Hummel previously told residents the township would like to help, but, according to the law, has no authority to go on private property to work on drainage. He said the flooding situation would continue because of the condition and design of a tile located on private property, unless it is repaired. Hummel called the drain system a hodgepodge of construction due to different developments and said it is woefully insufficient.

Road Superintendent Terry Spangler reported the tile system in the area in question does work, but is not sufficient to carry the vast amount of water generated during recent storms. However, areas of high water receded enough to have warning signs taken down after 24 hours.

"Drainage and flooding is an issue a lot of residents are concerned about," said teacher Robert LaBlanc, who is a 20-year township resident. "My basement flooded and I lost a lot of things; more than what insurance covered. My sump pumps have been running non-stop for weeks."

LaBlanc stated homeowners are also concerned about the cost of deteriorating properties due to storm water damage. He said he installed a back-up generator, which was expensive, but is still afraid to use his basement for fear of flooding.

"We’ve gotten some bids on running a 12-inch pipe, but we don’t know if it’s up to us to gather the information," continued Bepler, who suggested the storm system -which proved inadequate during recent storms-be re-routed, and the township look into the possibility of accessing the area through a utility easement.

Bepler estimated the cost of rerouting the storm system between $15,000 and $20,000.

Hummel said, "The next thing to do is to find out an answer on this utility easement. I’d be surprised if the township is allowed to go on this easement. We’d love to get the problem solved, too, but our hands are tied. This is an age old problem in Madison Township. We sit low."

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