A drainage ditch is causing big problems for the residents of Jackson Township and Pleasant Township who drive along Zuber Road, Young Road and portions of Plum Run.
"We’ve had water and drainage issues in that entire area for a long time," said Pleasant Township Chairman Keith Goldhardt at the May 13 township meeting. "I would say the issues started when they put up Interstate 71 in either the late 50s or early 60s."
While the original purpose of ditches are to channel water from low-lying areas alongside roadways or fields, they can collect dirt when it rains, which then settles into the pipes causing the drains to go slower. That usually results in flooding, which caused people living in the area to become concerned.
Because of their complaints, the townships asked workers with the Franklin County Engineer’s Office to come out and look at the drain. In addition to being responsible for the maintenance and construction of the county’s roadways, the engineer’s office is also responsible for the upkeep of all county and joint county ditches, drains, retention basins and other watercourses within the public right-of-way.
Jim Pike and Brady Taylor, engineers with the county, attended the meeting to tell residents what it going on with the ditch and what they could foresee happening with it.
"Franklin County recently sent survey crews out to Plum Run, Young Road, and the outlet on Zuber Road in Jackson Township to get a ditch profile," said Pike. "From what we plotted, we could see that the first 2,000 feet or so of the ditch is the trouble spot."
Taylor added that the westside of Young Road is flowing fairly well, but the problem lies within the other side.
"The key would be opening up the pipes from the highway, but there is so much buildup from there that we can’t flush it clean," said Pike.
With the survey being done and the plotting up of the ditch profile, the next step in the plan is to set up a meeting with the property owners where the ditch is located, get their permission to clean up the drainage ditch and go from there.
"There are no easements on the ditch, so we are tied by what we can do at this point," Pike said.
He added it will take a month or two to come up with a solid plan, but they would keep the township informed with updates.
"This is going to take time to get it done," said Jeff Karn, superintendent with the
Pleasant Township Road Department. "It didn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t going to get fixed over night either."
At the previous meeting on April 22, the board announced the approval of the purchase of two new emergency sirens from the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department at the cost of $18,000 apiece.
Residents had raised concerns to the board that in certain areas they are unable to hear the warning, which prompted the board to discuss and purchase the additional tornado sirens.
In the two weeks after the meeting, Franklin County Commissions told the trustees they would purchase five sirens and they, not the township, would foot the immediate bill, and the township would get a three-year payback grace period.
The township currently has four emergency sirens and with this new purchase, they will cover almost every occupied area in the township.
"I promise you will be able to hear them when they go off," Goldhardt said.
The board plans to discuss where the emergency sirens should be placed, and then they will install them as soon as they are able to.