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Merrillville looking at Southmoor Park drainage issues

MERRILLVILLE--The Stormwater Management Board has taken a first step toward alleviating ongoing drainage problems in the Southmoor Park subdivision.

The board agreed to pay Robinson Engineering $11,630 to do a topographical survey of the subdivision, located north of U.S. 30 and west of Merrillville Road.

Board members want to do an on-site inspection of the area before agreeing to hire Robinson for more engineering work there.

Matt Lake, executive director of Stormwater Utility, said there are two problems in the subdivision, which he said was built before Merrillville became a town. One resident’s septic system keeps filling with groundwater, causing problems for neighbors, plus the subdivision itself primarily has open ditches for drainage, many of which have been filled in.

Lake said the best solution for the resident with the septic problem would be for Merrillville Conservancy District to extend its sanitary line to his house and the resident to tie into the line at his cost.

Lake said the current sanitary line runs in the middle of the subdivision, but doesn’t extend to the two ends.

“The area primarily has open ditches for its chief drainage. We want to take a more formalized approach. The long-term plan would be too look at drainage for the whole subdivision,” Lake said.

He said MCD would take care of the sanitary side, while the town will resolve the roadside storm drainage problem.

Board member Dorinda Gregor asked Lake if he talked to MCD about drainage problems in the area and if MCD has indicated a willingness to annex the remainder of Southmoor.

“MCD is looking at it, but it’s also looking at the cost involved. They would gain four more customers,” Lake said.

Councilman Tom Goralczyk, D-4th, the town council’s liaison to the Stormwater Board, suggested the board move quickly on the contract.

“If you leave it to next month, by the time you go out for bids you’re talking September or October, which is the rainy season. Time is of the essence,” Goralczyk said.

Goralczyk said he’s heard about this problem for 1 1/2 years.

Bruce Spires, town manager/director of municipal operations, said the resident with the sump pump problems causes problems for the neighbors as well.

“The whole subdivision is impacted,” Spires said.

The topography work is expected to take a couple months, giving the board time to visit the site and agree on further action.



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