Drainage issues force closure of new water park

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The spray park at City Park will be closed until a drainageproblem that has caused water to stand in a neighborhood resident’syard is fixed, officials said Tuesday night.

Randy Jones, who lives at 735 Lipsey St., met with the board ofaldermen Tuesday concerning the water standing on his property,saying it runs down the ditch and stops in his yard.

“This is a problem that started just after the park was open,”he said. “The draining system is not good, and it’s draining rightinto my yard. They told me the project to fix it is about to begin,and I’m just here to make sure it does begin.”

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Brookhaven Public Works Director Steve Moreton said fixing thedrainage problem will involve boring under the walking track atcity park and connecting the drain to the sewer. Jones was dismayedto find that the project could take up to two weeks.

“Right now I can’t mow my yard, and mosquitoes are starting tobreed,” he said.

Moreton said the only other option is to turn off the water tothe spray park until the project was done. Ward Six Alderman DavidPhillips told Jones he had a legitimate complaint, and asked if hethought the water supply needed to be cut off for the timebeing.

“I’m not asking you to, but if that’s what it takes …” Jonessaid.

Moreton said work began on making the tap on Tuesday, and thatGreenbriar will soon begin the boring process.

The board voted unanimously to close City Park until thedrainage problems are fixed.

In other drainage discussion, Moreton told the board that on theurging of Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates, he had looked into thecost of putting in 200 feet of 36-inch pipe in a ditch that runsnext to the Dr. A. L. Lott sports complex. Bates had been concernedbecause when the basketball leaves the court and rolls down intothe ditch, it causes a drowning hazard for smaller children.

“The basketball court and where the kids are playing, that ditchis deep and it holds water,” Bates said. “When the ball gets awayand the young kids run down there, they can fall in there. A youngman about 12 or 13 met me down there and walked through it with meand it made sense.”

Moreton said the pipe itself is around $20 a foot, and shouldcost a total of $6,500-$7,000. That total, Moreton said, does notinclude labor, dirt hauling or the bulldozers or front-endloaders.

“In reality, it’s probably around $10,000,” Moreton said.

The board discussed whether or not 200 feet would direct thewater far enough away from the areas populated by the children, butdid determine that the money is not in the budget to do it.

“This is the first information I’ve gotten on this,” said CityClerk Mike Jinks. “We’d have to revise the budget.”

The board voted 5-1 to put in the pipe, with Phillips castingthe dissenting vote. He said he’d have liked to check the budget tosee if the money was available, and if not, find a way to figure itinto next year’s budget.