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Jury's still out on how to solve flooding issue



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September 04, 2012 | 06:13 PM
LINN — What's causing the flooding along Zenda Road south of Highway B? Was it work the town completed in that area several years ago? Is it underground springs? The fact that there are more structures in that area than there were before?

On the phone Aug. 29, Linn Town Chairman Jim Weiss said they still don't know what's causing the flooding, but the lack of rainfall this summer has presented a good news/bad news situation for engineers.

The good news: With such little rain, there has been no flooding.

The bad: Weiss said with such little rain, it's hard to figure out what's causing the flooding.

"If you had a good rain, you could go down there and look at what's going on," he said.

Weiss said the Linn Town Board and engineers from Kapur and Associates, Burlington, will meet to discuss the flooding issue Monday, Sept. 10. He said board members still have several questions. "The bottom line is the jury's still out," Weiss said.

A complicated situation

The Zenda Road flooding issue was brought up during a 2011 annual town meeting.

That discussion prompted the Linn Town Board to set aside $50,000 in the 2012 budget to investigate the issue.

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Earlier this year, there was a failed attempt to do something about the problem despite any scientific proof of its cause.

On April 9, a motion was made by then Supervisor Greg Holden to install 15-inch drain tiles in that area and have the town attorney draw up an agreement to be signed by nearby landowners. Supervisor Christine Jones seconded that motion.

Jones and Holden voted yes, Supervisors Jeanne Allis and Terry Woods voted no. Because Weiss was not at the April 9 meeting, the motion died.

On April 13, Weiss said he understood the motion was to attempt a solution to the problem, but for it to be an effective measure, officials must "understand the whole scheme of the water issue."

Weiss called for an engineering study. Kapur and Associates studied the area in June and July.

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On Monday, Linn Clerk-Treasurer Sue Polyock said the town recently paid Kapur $276.

That couple months' work likely will fuel the discussion, which may occur Sept. 10. "We've gotten some stuff back from the engineer, but there were still some additional questions," Weiss said Aug. 29. He called it a complicated situation.

Moving parts

"The township did have some drainage issues along Zenda Road years ago," Weiss said.

He asked if the work completed by the town at that time caused the flooding problem. Weiss also questioned whether the increased number of structures in that area impact the situation.

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He said according to the engineer, there is a lot of underground water.

"There are a lot of springs underneath the surface," Weiss said.

These are three of what he called "moving parts," factors to be considered when looking for the source of the problem.

Weiss said the theories posited by Kapur and Associates have been questioned by a number of residents. When asked how many residents are affected by the flooding, he replied, "It's a small area."

On April 13, he said a few Zenda residents have complained about flooding. On Aug. 29, he said he spoke to one Zenda resident on numerous occasions about the problem, "attempting to find a solution."

In other words, the Linn Town Board is at the same place it was in April.

"We need to determine the source of the flooding," Weiss said.

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