Wednesday’s first meeting of the Cole County Stormwater Management Advisory Committee focused on updates of current projects.
The formation of this committee is the result of work done to manage stormwater runoff and erosion control in the county in recent years.
Cole County Engineer Eric Landwehr said some of the county’s worst problems occurred in 2016 and 2017, with rainfall exceeding the design of pavement and pipes; debris clogging pipes or inlets, with the first heavy rain of spring flushing debris from fall and winter; and bottom floor elevations of some basements being too low, in close proximity to creeks and/or below the low point of a road.
Since that time, the county has been doing a large number of stormwater improvement projects, including the biggest stormwater project the county has ever undertaken.
The Crossroads Subdivision stormwater project included Dewberry Drive, Rustic Lane and Greenbrier Drive, located just south of Jefferson City off U.S. 54. The total cost for the work was more than $1.4 million. The project replaced all stormwater inlets and pipes then rebuilt subdivision streets.
The Meadowbrook Estates Subdivision project was planned to be finished by last year, but Landwehr said utility and weather delays caused the completion date to be extended to this year.
In the Sleepy Hollow Subdivision, the county did pavement replacement at Wilmor Drive and Woodstone Rise along with stormwater improvements. Landwehr said the stormwater work is done and 75 percent of the concrete replacement is done. That work should be completed by June 30, the completion date set in the construction contract.
Work started at the beginning of this month on South Brooks Drive between Shady Lane and Westview Drive. The project will reconstruct three pipe crossings on South Brooks and Collier Lane with either a new pipe or box culvert, plus replace or add several drop inlets and pipe. Work is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30. This project is part of a multi-phase and multi-year project to upgrade the stormwater systems in the Westview Heights area.
Design work is taking place on two more stormwater projects. Improvements are planned at Fairlawn/Woodway courts and at Brookview/Gateway drives. Landwehr said they probably will build the one on Fairlawn this year and do an overlay of the road, but Woodway likely will be done next year. Brookview/Gateway likely will be built next year.
“Many of the stormwater issues we had north of Business 50 in Apache Flats have been addressed, but we are still looking at potentially putting in a detention area on county property off of Veil of Tears to help the south side of Apache,” Landwehr said.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources requires cities and counties with urbanized areas to follow guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency through the Clean Water Act. A component of the county’s stormwater management plan is to allow public participation and a citizens’ forum to address stormwater concerns.
The committee is comprised of the members of the Cole County Road and Bridge Advisory Board. The six regular members of the board are county residents appointed by the County Commission on a yearly rotating basis, with member terms lasting three years. The main duties of the Road and Bridge Advisory Board are to provide guidance and advice to the County Commission and Public Works Department in the expenditure of sales tax funds for road and bridge improvements. The stormwater forum will be added to their duties.
Landwehr said they continue to work on a stormwater plan or ordinance that would require developers to install detention as they build their subdivision so they are not adding to problems that already exist. He hopes to have a draft for the committee to look at for its next meeting in August.
The stormwater meetings will be held biannually, and residents will have an opportunity to address the committee with concerns. The committee will have no authority to direct work to be done. However, they will be able to recommend correction measures to the Public Works Department and ultimately to the County Commission.
Residents are encouraged to present their concerns and attend the meetings. People who wish to speak are required to submit their concern through an online form, by mail or through email.
Information can be found at colecounty.org/505/Stormwater. Residents can call the Public Works Department at 573-636-3614.