Editorial

Scott City needs retention basin for runoff

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Some Scott City residents have a problem.

With heavy rains, drainage ditches overflow and send unwanted water into their homes. When the water recedes, their yards are left with trash and broken tree limbs.

The problem lies in concrete culverts that get clogged with debris. Ditches that run along Maple, Clark and First streets consistently have such overflows.

The flooding has city officials considering budgeting an additional $20,000 for ditch maintenance next year. The city normally budgets $10,000, but officials think the extra $20,000 would cover the costs of a more effective cleanup of the vegetation and debris in the ditches.

But, as Scott City Mayor Tim Porch pointed out, cleaning out the ditches isn't a long-term solution, because the city's drainage system simply isn't adequate.

A 30-acre retention basin to temporarily hold runoff from heavy rains is a better plan, but the cost is steep. One estimate is that a retention basin would cost $250,000. Finding a way to pay for a retention basin would require a major commitment from the city -- and, more than likely, from taxpayers.

For the long term, Scott City would be prudent to consider a permanent fix n and not the Band-Aid solution that will continue to require hefty expenditures for cleaning out the ditches every year..

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