Kokomo city officials signaled Wednesday they’re ready to move ahead on stormwater drainage improvements for a section of town hit hard last year by flooding.
The city Board of Public Works & Safety approved plans for a drainage project to be centered near the intersection of Judson and Berkley roads, with bids to be received May 30.
“I know the people who live in this area will be very excited about this project,” board president Jim Brannon said.
The Berkley Meadows neighborhood was inundated June 3 last year, along with the 1800 and 1900 blocks of West Judson Road, when almost 3 inches of rain fell in a three-hour time span.
Water sheeting off farm fields to the north of Judson swamped the back yards of homes on Carol Lynn Drive and put the street there temporarily underwater.
The storm made it obvious that the neighborhood’s drainage system, as well as the vacated Faye-Beale county legal drain, were inadequate systems to handle heavy rains.
At the time, both city stormwater manager Don Cree and then-Howard County Surveyor Dan Minor said they doubted what is left of the Faye-Beale drain was capable of providing much drainage.
City officials, who were already working on improving the Berkley Meadows subdivision’s drainage when the storm hit, knew the subdivision was receiving heavy amounts of drainage from the county.
And both city and county officials knew homes were sitting directly on top of at least two branches of the Faye-Beale, a ditch that dates back to the very early days of Kokomo and Howard County.
Afterwards, city and county officials discussed various ways of improving the drainage.
Wednesday, Howard County Surveyor Dave Duncan said the farmers who own the land on the north side of Judson Road will fund the installation of either a 15- or 18-inch private storm drain, which will run east/west from Northwest Park to where Berkley intersects with Judson.
The city will pay to extend the 60-inch interceptor, which runs underneath Berkley to the north, under Judson Road, so that the new private drain can empty into it, Duncan explained.
Work on the project should begin in June, he said.
• Scott Smith is a Kokomo Tribune staff writer. He may be reached at 765-454-8569 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.