CLARKS GREEN — At the borough’s May 16 council meeting, Fairview Road resident Michael Wylie, during public comment, told the council a drainage ditch on his property has grown to 14 to 16 feet wide. He said it was 2 to 3 feet wide when he first moved there and about a year ago, the state installed two large drainage pipes, which are above the water line and are not draining the ditch. He said the pipes are frequently blocked with debris.
“I can’t go in there to get it (debris),” he said. “Even though it’s my property, it’s a state or borough-owned thoroughfare.”
Wylie said his property is never dry enough to walk on except for one week in July and one week in August. He added the water is flowing into his basement.
“In the 27 years that I lived here, I never had water in the basement,” he said.
Councilman Dave Rinaldi confirmed water has been coming down the easterly side of the borough into a stream. BCM engineer Rich Kresge told the council about his intent to place bioswales and that he and engineer Zach Smith talked about an option of placing a culvert. Rinaldi said a culvert was replaced on Yale Boulevard and asked DPW chair Keith Williams if he could have Dave Kohinsky (DPW supervisor) and Kresge take a look at it.
“I appreciate it,” said Wylie. “I’m willing to cooperate in any manner.”
In other business, Kresge talked about the matter regarding a deteriorated pipe causing sinkholes on Crest Drive. He said he looked at the site on April 9 after receiving a call from Kohinsky and the end wall is collapsing on itself and voids are opening up on residents’ property.
“Usually, when you have voids opening above the top of the pipe, it’s evidence of soil material being transported,” he said. “The only vehicle that I can see that’s there in the area to transport the material would be the pipe.”
Kresge said it’s probably the condition of the pipe that is pouring the material into the conveyance system, resulting in the voids above it and added he prepared an estimate of probable construction costs.
Rinaldi asked Kresge what portion of the pipe the cost entails.
Kresge replied the cost is for the whole pipe, including on the property of Crest Drive resident Minnie Mastroianni, who lives on the Clarks Summit border.
“What evidence is there that the pipe in Miss Mastroianni’s yard is the borough’s responsibility?” asked Rinaldi.
Kresge replied that, in a discussion with Kohinsky about 2018 paving projects, Crest Drive was one of the high priorities. He explained he wanted to take the pipe to where it was open on the end wall on the hindsight of Crest Drive to where it was open on the downstream side to where Clarks Summit/Clarks Green interface.
“If a line is to collapse or private property that can cause the system to block up and then it could become a borough problem because flooding can result,” he said.
Kresge also said he could look into using an open-channel swale, which is less costly than replacing a pipe.
Rinaldi asked why the borough is being asked to replace a pipe when there is no evidence the borough put the pipe there in the first place. Kresge replied there is a private inlet on the westerly side of Crest Drive.
Rinaldi said that he, Mayor Patty Lawler, Councilman Bill Toms and treasurer Alan Hughes looked at the opening of the pipe on the easterly side of Crest Drive and that the pipe’s head wall is made of masonry stones. He asked about the possibility of changing the head wall since there is evidence of needing to open the road and replace the pipe. Kresge suggested to change the end wall since it’s collapsing.
Lawler spoke for using swales; Rinaldi agreed swales are better than pipes. Councilman Toms said to get to the heart of this matter, they will need to know what’s going on underneath the road.
“What we have to fix is our responsibility,” he said to Kresge. “You don’t know. We don’t know. The only way to know is if we had pictures.”
Rinaldi then said before the council can take action, it will need to know the conditions of the pipes and know exactly where the cracks are located.
The council voted to authorize a camera inspection of the area and use the data to determine the next step.
After further discussion, the council also voted to piggyback ARWA (Abington Regional Wastewater Authority) with the flow meter provided at $500 a month to have a flow meter in Clarks Green to determine where the heaviest inflow and infiltration is occurring so the borough can concentrate on these areas.
In other business, Gerard Hetman from the Lackawanna County Commissioners Office spoke about Blight to Bright, a joint project between Lackawanna County Land Bank and NeighborWorks NEPA.
“It’s basically a way to address vacant and abandoned properties across Lackawanna County in a cohesive and progressive manner,” he said.
Hetman said there are four public meetings in different locations to try to shape a strategy to go ahead with the project. The first meeting is at 6 p.m. May 23 at Goodwill at North in Scranton. The second meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, June 4 at PNC Field in Moosic and the third is at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 7 at the Anthracite Center in Carbondale. The last meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, June 11 at the 911 Center in Jessup.
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