Hobbs Road residents asked the Jefferson City Public Works and Planning Committee on Thursday to split the cost to repair a groundwater issue along the street.
Coming from a place where subsurface water is surfacing, groundwater runs along Hobbs Road and crosses at West Gordon Drive near a school bus pickup location, resident Roger Whittler said. When the water freezes, he added, he worries a driver will hit that ice and slide into children at the bus pickup location.
The water is also damaging Hobbs Road, Whittler added.
To repair the issue, city staff recommended the homeowner install a french drain — a perforated pipe in a shallow gravel ditch — to drain the surfacing water to a nearby city inlet. While most of the work would be on private property, there would be a section that would cross the right-of-way to connect to an existing street inlet, Jefferson City Operations Division Director Britt Smith said.
Whittler said the drain would cost about $600.
Since the issue on private property, Smith said, “it is a private issue.”
Whittler and resident Jim Rathert said they thought the city and residents should split the cost since the issue is partially on city property and impacts city streets. They added the city approved permits for nearby businesses to construct impervious surfaces that may have led to an increase in the groundwater issue.
“Making the decision to place the responsibility on the homeowners is understandable, but we don’t agree with it,” Whittler said. “It’s on city easement and should be a shared cost.”
Whittler and Rathert added homeowners could argue the businesses should be responsible for repairing the problem.
After hearing the residents’ concerns, Ward 4 Councilman Ron Fitzwater said he would visit the area and potentially propose a recommendation to the committee next month.
In other business Thursday, the Public Works committee sent city staff’s request to purchase a $75,000 snow plow to the Jefferson City Finance Committee for consideration before it goes to the Jefferson City Council for final approval.
Last fall, city staff had to take a 2-ton, single-axle snow plow out of service due to continuing deterioration. At that time, the Public Works Committee asked city staff to explore funding options, such as a grant offered through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The city did not receive that grant, Smith said Thursday.
If the committee wants to have the snow plow for the 2019 winter, Smith said, city staff would need to order it soon. If the council members waited until the city budget process this summer, he added, the city would not have the snow plow until winter 2020 since it takes four to six months to come in.
After city staff took the snow plow out of service, they have been using a smaller truck to plow snow.