Magnolia Springs council drafting short-term and long-term plans to address drainage problems

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 7/20/21

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - In recent months, the Magnolia Springs council has heard from multiple citizens who are experiencing drainage issues on their properties. Many citizens have spoken of their flooded …

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Magnolia Springs council drafting short-term and long-term plans to address drainage problems

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - In recent months, the Magnolia Springs council has heard from multiple citizens who are experiencing drainage issues on their properties. Many citizens have spoken of their flooded yards, eroding landscapes and fears that the water could cause damages to their homes over time. During the July work session, the council asked the questions what can be done now to alleviate the problems, and what can be done long-term to stop further drainage issues?

“We’ve got a lot of problems, and we’re going to have to identify the immediate needs and have a pecking order as to where we’re going to go from here,” said Mayor Kim Koniar. “We really have to identify the most important needs, what to do about the problems, short-term costs and long-term costs, and that’s where we’re at right now. Some issues are immediate needs and then others are long-term, such as how do we handle the development that’s coming to this area?”

One of the first steps will be to have an updated drainage study performed. The town has a study that was completed in 2009 which will be used as a guide to begin comparing problems from then with problems faced now. Once an updated study is completed, plans can be made as to how to proceed.

“This town has got so many drainage issues I don’t even know where to start,” said councilmember Steve Mobley, chair of the public works committee. “Every culvert in this town has a drainage issue, and some of them are actually below the base of the ditch itself so they don’t drain … A lot of the issues that we have are just plugged drains and ditches that have filled up over the years and the water can’t go anywhere, there’s no drainage to take it anywhere.”

Mobley suggested as a short-term relief effort, the town clean out as many clogged ditches and culverts as possible. At the suggestion of Town Engineer Richard Peterson and concerned citizens, Mobley said the cleanup should begin by the river and then work back, so as not to inadvertently cause more flooding issues. The next step would be to place sod.

Koniar said once top priorities are determined, she suggests a request for proposal be composed and approximately three quotes for the initial project sought. Mobley, along with councilmembers Ross Houser and Bob Turner, are working to prepare a short-term plan prior to the council meeting on July 27 that will detail immediate action that can be taken to help alleviate drainage issues. A full, long-term plan will begin being developed after immediate issues are handled and a new drainage study has been performed.

“If you start clearing at the river, there’s enough rain around here, enough constant flow, that you’re going to start seeing where there’s some pull,” said Houser. “We’re not going to mess anything up as far as the grand plan by clearing out those ditches and cleaning out those culverts and getting it all going and then working our way back. I know we still need a master plan, but I don’t know if it has to be engineered to know that the pipes are full and we’ve got to clean them out.”

Mobley said that by doing short-term solutions now and working on long-term solutions in between, they can hopefully stop the current problems from persisting and getting worse. He and his committee have begun working on a short-term solution plan and look to present it at the July council.