Board OKs drain plan for subdivision

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The proposed Jaywood Subdivision on Halbert Heights Road maycause drainage problems unless the city installs a new ditch in thearea to help control runoff, one engineer said Tuesday night.

Don Lucas of Lucas Engineering, along with property ownersHerschel and Joann Adams, told the board that changes need to bemade to the existing plan to be able to accommodate drainage oncethe project begins. The area has already seen extensive rainwaterproblems on the property adjoining where Jaywood Subdivision willbe located.

Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell assured Lucas and the Adamsesthat they would be absolved of any liability as long as theyfollowed guidelines already set out by the city for how thedrainage system should be set up.

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“As long as you adhere to those that’s what you’ve committed todo, that ends your responsibility,” Maxwell said.

Lucas expressed concern that a local detention pond would nothold the amount of runoff that could be generated once constructionbegins.

“It’ll drain,” Maxwell said.

Lucas told the board he could just build it to thespecifications laid out, but that it would definitely causedrainage problems.

“Then it’s in the city right of way, and it’s the city’s job tomaintain it, and it’s on the city when it starts to causeproblems,” he said.

Lucas asked that the project with the current drainage beallowed to proceed, but for a new ditch to be added when the cityis able.

Ward Six Alderman David Phillips noted that if the project wereto wait on the city to put in a new ditch, it could take months oryears and hold up the project.

“The city is not in a financial position to dig this ditch inthe time you need to get started,” Phillips said. “You’re asking usto approve the existing drainage as it is now, and in the future wecould do it. But if you have to wait on us it could be months, andyou’re asking us to get started.”

Phillips made a motion that Lucas go ahead and lay the pipes asif the ditch were there, and the city will add it as soon as itcan. When the new ditch is added, the drainage will be attached toit.

Phillips said he appreciated Maxwell’s work on the issue, butthat two engineers had signed off on the project. He recommendedfollowing their expertise.

“The wheels of government move slowly, and it could be twomonths or two years, and they need to get started,” Phillipssaid.

The board voted 6-1 to approve Phillips’ motion, with Maxwellagainst.

Meanwhile, Mayor Les Bumgarner told the board that Brookhaven’sCable One offices were moved to McComb Friday while the company istrying to consolidate offices to cut costs.

“They said they felt like they’d be back within the year,”Bumgarner said.

The mayor said the company has outlined several ways to paybills since the office will not be where it had been in the past.The Brookhaven number will stay the same for people who need tocall Cable One with questions.

“They’ve assured us they’re still a part of us, and theirconcerns are great for Brookhaven,” he said. “I tried to get themto come here (the McComb office to Brookhaven), but it was kind ofout of the hands of the guy I was talking to.”

Bumgarner said no local workers are losing their jobs in themove.