By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
The Killeen Water/Sewer/Drainage Committee on Tuesday sent its recommendation for a $500,000 drainage project to the City Council.
Otto Wiederhold, president of Walker, Wiederhold & Associates engineering firm in Killeen, reviewed engineering documents with the committee. The box culvert running from Stillwood Drive through Dripping Springs Drive would cover 356 acres.
"It's a very sizable drainage basin," Wiederhold said.
The committee unanimously voted to recommend the engineering plans to the council for approval. Wiederhold said that if the council approves the engineering plans, the next step is to develop construction plans.
The drainage problem in the housing area just north of Stonetree Golf Course has been seeing high water for at least 10 years. Committee member and former Councilman Dan Corbin said he had two vehicles whisked away by high waters in December 1997.
Wiederhold said that houses don't usually see water damage because they are built on high hills, but the two to three feet of water typically in the valley of the neighborhood can be menacing to navigate.
"The intent is to improve the situation so it is manageable by residents," Wiederhold said.
Committee member and Councilman Kenny Wells argued that the city shouldn't have to fix these problems
"When this was developed, the developer should have planned for that," Wells said.
He said if the drainage problem was causing problems to just a few homes, the city could save money by purchasing a couple of the houses most affected.
Public Works Director James Butler said the housing area was not developed as a whole; houses were put up one at a time as lots were sold. He also said the flooding was damaging the street and other infrastructure. He also said the flooding impacts more than just two homes.
"It literally has ripped the street up three times," Corbin said.
Corbin also said there have been four attempts to fix the drainage problems in that neighborhood in the past three years, but he has not seen a proposed solution that had this much engineering involved.
The committee also approved sending a storm water management plan to the City Council for final approval to submit to the state. The state began requiring such a document to be developed after the U.S. Census in 2000. Corbin complimented the city staff.
"It's a good effort," Corbin said. "I think the overall quality of the document should cause it to be approved by TCEQ."
Corbin said he hopes Killeen's management plan could be used as a standard for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7550