The Real Story
I AM POSTING THE RESPONSE CM BILL SCHMIDT PREPARED FOR THE TRIBUNE, AS THE ORIGINAL REPORTER FOR THE COURIER OPTED TO NOT INCLUDE IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE STATEMENTS MADE BY MR. SCHMIDT IN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE.
ADDITIONALLY, THE TRIBUNE HAS NOT PROMISED TO PRINT HIS RESPONSE IN ITS ENTIRETY, SO WE WILL DO IT HERE.
AFTER READING THIS, YOU WILL KNOW, AS MOST ALREADY DO, THAT MR. SCHMIDT DID NOTHING OUTSIDE OF PROPER PROTOCOL OR APPROVAL.
I AM VERY DISPLEASED, BUT NOT VERY SURPRISED, THAT CM DAN COFFEY, AFTER WORKING ON THIS PROJECT WITH CM SCHMIDT, WOULD MAKE THE STATEMENT THAT HE WAS NOT CONSULTED ON THE ISSUE.
I WILL BE REQUESTING THE MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS WHERE CM DAN COFFEY WAS INDEED PRESENT AND INCLUDED IN THE DISCUSSIONS.
I am writing this article (to the Tribune) in order to clarify statements made in another local newspaper by their reporter. It is sad that their reporter chose not to report all of the pertinent facts that I gave to him on the West End Drainage Project.
LOCATION OF THE WORK BEING DONE:
Work to begin correcting this flood problem is on City Property, not on private property as was hinted in the paper. The work is on a vacated street called Boiling Springs Road. This can be verified on page 7720 in the Plat map room. The entire ditch and repairs are on Boiling Springs Road city property.
The West End residents in the West Ninth Street and Cedar Street area have suffered flood damage and loss of property for several years.
Flooding from Silver Hills down toward Cedar Street has multiplied over the last few years. Three ditches from Silver Hills flow rampantly down to a small shallow ditch at the end of Cedar Street. In addition, gushing water flows down Cherry Street Hill and crosses over Cherry Street to this shallow ditch.
The reconstruction of Scribner School and additional blacktop caused the flow of additional water across Cherry Street to this shallow ditch overflowing down Cedar Street into homes on West Ninth Street.
HISTORY OF THIS DRAINAGE PROBLEM:
In 2003, residents in the area suffered excessive flood damage. A senior invalid lady was trapped in her living room in her chair with 5 or 6 inches of water in her home. Her caretaker son managed to call out to neighbors for help, and they called the fire department to pump out the water and to rescue her.
Neighbors had flooded homes and garages. They lost personal and collector items in the flood. This was a flood emergency:
STREETS FLOODED CARS STALLED
WET CARPETS DRIVEWAYS WASHED AWAY
GARAGES FLOODED SEWER BACKUPS
This has been a long and discouraging time as we have tried to get help for the residents suffering from the flood damages.
HISTORY OF REQUESTS FOR HELP TO IMPROVE DRAINAGE:
To New Albany Redevelopment Commission…….February 2003 – No funds allotted
To New Albany Board of Works…………………........June 2003 - No work done
To New Albany Flood Control Board……………......June 2003 - No work done
New Albany Board of Works discussion…………...February 2004 – No work done
CITY COUNCIL DRAINAGE COMMITTEE:
In 2004, the City Council formed a Drainage Committee to allow each Council member to begin to correct drainage problems in their districts. Silver Hills is in Bill Schmidt’s District 2, and the 9th and Cedar area is in Dan Coffey’s District 1. Coffey and Schmidt discussed this and agreed to work together to solve this drainage problem. It seemed suitable as the flood waters from Silver Hills in District 2 were pouring down on District 1.
CITY COUNCIL DRAINAGE COMMITTEE APPROVAL:
The request for drainage repairs was discussed with the full nine member City Council Drainage Committee. They all agreed to allow Brian Dixon, P.E., to review the project, make recommendations and solicit bids. When Councilman Schmidt received those bids from Brian Dixon, he presented copies to each Council member. After council discussion, all agreed to proceed with the contractor who was the lowest bidder.
LOCATION OF THE CONCRETE WALL IN THE DITCH:
The concrete wall was placed at the location where the two major streams of rushing waters flood down from Silver Hills into the shallow ditch. The shallow ditch was dug out to about 5 feet deep to retain the flood water as it flowed toward the tile pipe along Cedar Street.
This is only the beginning of work needed to be done to correct the problem. Cleaning of the drain pipe is the next step. In the future, that pipe may need to be replaced with a larger pipe.
I wish that the Mayor, or someone from the City Administration had called me to discuss the West End Drainage project before they made accusations in that local paper. It is in the best interest of the citizens when all officials work together.