By Eric Hawkinson
SOLON– Marshek Court residents shared their voices loud and clear at the Monday, Sept. 16, school board meeting.
Board members listened as residents explained the horrors of water damage and opened the discussion to fix the problem.
“Our feelings are, we’ve settled this once and now we have to get back into it again,” said Marshek Court resident Duane Mensen.
City council members were in attendance to help spur the discussion, and the group of residents vocalized their plight throughout the meeting. They shared a rough proposal to help direct water away from Marshek Court. The board members were sympathetic to the property owners’ situation, but stressed the importance of making the right call.
“I want to make sure we’re not creating one problem for another problem,” board member Dean Martin said.
Residents at Marshek Court have experienced excessive stormwater runoff problems for years now, and the flooding was at its worst during the heavy rainfall this spring. The city previously agreed to help by maintaining a retention pond, but the residents are in need of a permanent fix. Board members agreed, but were uncertain about the best solution and were cautious about creating a larger problem.
“I feel for you, I wouldn’t want to be in your situation, either,” Martin said. “But two wrongs don’t make a right. I don’t want to make another wrong.”
It was the first time the board had discussed the issue at a public meeting, and board president Dave Asprey said they are new to the discussion. He added because of the complexity of the issue, they must bring in some good engineering minds fix it.
“This is the beginning, I guess, of that process,” Asprey said.
Board member Dick Schwab strongly suggested a water study be done so they could know precisely how to alleviate the flooding, and how to direct it to the best spot.
“Ultimately, this water’s going to end up in the nature and rec center,” Schwab said. “That’s where it’s got to end up… how we get it there is the key.”
Superintendent Sam Miller said he spoke with Shive-Hattery engineers, who told him the district first must determine what, if any, role it has in the matter before they can begin to move forward. If the district is responsible, he said, then they have act to resolve the issue for the property owners, and also address the district’s needs.
“It’s kind of a systematic approach,” Miller said.
Miller also said a water study could cost upwards of $10,000 dollars.
It was the last meeting for board president Asprey, and member Lianne Westcot, but Asprey assured residents that it is an issue the new board will revisit at the next meeting.
“I don’t think there’s any disagreement about what outcome we want,” Asprey said. “It’s how do we accomplish that fast, most effectively, and doing it in a cost reasonable process.”
After dealing with flooded basements for nearly 13 years, Mensen said he is certainly frustrated. He said he is ready for a solution, and wants it to be permanent.
“When you get your engineer involved don’t just put a band-aid-fix on it,” Mensen said to the board.