City Hosts Storm Water Presentation
The City of LaGrange and all of Troup County experienced severe damage this past holiday season due to heavy flooding and rains. After this, many with the county and the city worked for days and weeks on end to help repair what needed repairing and to make the city whole again.
Now that we are removed, the city held a presentation on storm water and told everyone in attendance “more than [they] ever care to know about rain.” The speakers of this presentation were David Brown, the director of public services for the City of La-Grange, and Roger Cox, PE, department manager-civil site engineering for Rindt-McDuff Associates Inc.
This presentation covered several different things, such as what qualifies as storm water and why it is important, different case studies that have been performed, what challenges come with this topic, and what other cities are doing. Storm water is qualified as a “portion of rain not absorbed into the ground and becomes “runoff’ through storm sewer systems and eventually enters our natural streams and lakes.” Water is of course our most valuable natural recourse and many developments around it impact our culture.
The meeting then looked at the water cycle and how it affects different areas such as natural conditions, suburban/ residential, urban development, and others. Storm water is spoken of in either quality or quantity, essentially does the water impair the good water and how much can we handle. Fifty-eight percent of all rivers and streams are impaired water as opposed to the 42% that is clean. That is frightening. The duo then covered many case studies form here in town, form Park Hill/ Hickory Terrace and many others that were recently damaged.
They then talked about stream channels. What makes certain channels safe and what happens when things get out of hand. Additionally they covered the city’s role when such things like this happen and who is responsible for fixing certain things when disaster occurs. This is where the question of ownership comes into play. The City is tasked with establishing formal policy for allocation of limited resources, managing homeowner expectations; reduce “pet projects” in the drainage system, reducing legal exposure, and many other civic duties.
Other cities dealing with the same issues are conducting needs assessments, determining structures of their storm water departments, determining their methods and levels of funding, administering staff responsibilities, prioritizing their CIP’s, and other things to help their cities whenever storm water damage rears its ugly head. The essentials here are that the city must prepare and have clarification when necessary, empower their staff with the tools and training needed, and perhaps consider funding a storm water program.
In addition to this storm water 101seminar, there was also a presentation along the same lines pertaining to Piney Woods Lake. Piney Woods is out near the Country Club. This area was impounded in the 1930’s by Cason Callaway and covers approximately 100 acres. The area has become a thriving one with many homes and families in that area. The presentation then showed many picture slides of various areas including the silt entering Piney Woods Lake, Piney Woods Creek (before and after heavy rains), Cherokee Road, the sink hole near LaGrange High School, the area below Boyd Park, and Granger Park Pond to name a few. All of these places have been touched by storm water drainage run off. They also presented the city with a list of things that they can do to help including financial assistance, grants, state and federal authorizes help, helping with design and construction, and many other suggestions.
While it might not be the most glamorous presentation in the world, storm water is clearly an issue in our community that needs to be dealt with. Our officials and crews have worked excellently to repair all of the recent damage and surely will help take some steps in order to help reduce the problem even further in the case of future event such a the one form this past holiday season.
The city works exceptionally hard on things such as this and with sound leadership, time, and people that truly care and want to help bring about change, we will solve this and any other problems that come our way.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer