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Evans City residents, council address stormwater concerns

Butler Eagle file photo

EVANS CITY — Residents and borough council members at a council meeting Monday, April 3, addressed concerns over stormwater flooding.

Resident Michele Quinlan said the resurfacing of Route 528 more than five years ago has caused the nearest corner of her property to landslide into her house during heavy rain.

“I have a waterfall that comes the whole way down that corner, into my backyard and into my house, which we just now got fixed,” Quinlan said. “We had to put a wall on the one side of the house and redded up the whole backyard — and put all kinds of French piping and everything in — to keep my house from getting flooded out.”

The repairs have cost a “fortune,” according to Quinlan, and her efforts to address the road’s drainage with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation largely have been ignored.

Quinlan’s neighbor, Cassandra Young, said the runoff has collapsed a retaining wall outside her house and begun flooding her basement.

“It’s got rivers that come through it and puddles in there,” Young said. “I bought the place in ’04 and it was dry as a bone, and it seems like in the last — I want to say five, six years or something — I notice more and more.”

For the time being, Councilman Mark Widdersheim recommended residents contact their state representative.

However, as a member of the Southwest Butler Stormwater Planning Group, Widdersheim said Evans City is in the process of addressing these concerns.

“There’s a regional stormwater group that’s looking at these types of issues,” he said. “We’re looking at it from a larger perspective.”

Widdersheim said the runoff likely is coming from neighboring Jackson or Forward townships, which is what makes the 10-municipality stormwater planning group essential to solving these kinds of issues.

“We’re all in this together,” he told Quinlan and Young. “We’re going to sign some proposals tonight to allocate some engineering dollars, and we’re starting on your end of town ... and work our way down.”

Council approved three engineering proposals Monday for the borough’s stormwater management.

The first proposal, Widdersheim said, would deal with study and design work throughout the next year.

This would be followed by a construction and infrastructure project, he said, and, finally, plans for the ongoing operation and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure.

“We’re going to look at anything that protects private property,” Widdersheim said. “Now that we have a regional group, we can look at it collectively.”

Other business

After windstorms battered the county during the past two weekends, council also approved a temporary extension for burning times to help clear debris.

“For Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday stays the same at 7 a.m to 7 p.m.,” council President Cheri Deener said.

The temporary extension would be “weather permitting,” according to Deener, and would run only until the end of April.

Event permits also were reformed by council Monday.

“It looks a little different,” Deener said.

She said the revisions include changes to scheduling, road closures, policing, alcohol and entertainment.

“It’s a little more complex,” Deener said, “but I think some of our events are going to get more complex.”

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