The Washington Township Committee has assigned the town engineer, Leon Hall, to examine the flooding problem on Fairview Avenue after residents said their home had been overtaken by water nine times in the past decade.
Cecile Marie and John Howard, residents who own a home at the corner of Fairview Avenue and Naughright Road, .
The residents claim that over the past decade they’ve spent about $1.5 million on home and property repairs.
Marie and Howard, along with their attorney and engineer, had to be done to correct the flooding problem on the road.
The low spot of the roadway would need to be raised four feet, engineer David Fontina said.
But because the road belongs to the township, it is up the municipality to make the fix, according to the residents.
The governing body decided Monday night it would be prudent for Hall to meet with Fontina, and come up with a best solution to possibly fix the roadway, divert the overflow water from Stony Brook, and keep the integrity of the homes in the area.
Time, however, is of the essence, in more ways than one.
In a matter of four weeks in 2011, Washington Township was struck by , a 8, and another on Sept. 28.
With storm season just a few months away, the project needs to be complete as soon as possible, Marie says.
The project could cost upwards of $50,000, according to Mayor Ken Short.
The committee decided, however, if Hall was to analyze the situation and make recommendations, there would need to be a cap on his work time. That cap came in the form of a $1,500 limit on Hall’s pay for any engineering studies he conducts.
. That cap gives Hall just over 11 and-a-half hours of available work time for the project.
“There’s information out there that I think we still need to know about,” committeeman David Kennedy said. “I’d like to hear a more specified solution, and maybe even move some of the rocks (causing the problem) in Stony Brook.”
“Hopefully the engineers will be able to come to an agreement, and fairly quickly,” committeeman Tracy Tobin said. “It’s a two-part problem, with the brook and the roadway. Hopefully the engineers can come to a common ground.”
After spending her own money on an engineer, however, Marie was frustrated that the township’s final say would be coming from a different professional.
“If you’re putting a cap on (Hall’s) time, I want a cap on (Fontina’s) time,” Marie said. “What’s the point of having (Fontina) if (Hall) is going to make the final call?”
“I don’t think Leon making the decision is the case here,” committeeman Jim LiaBraaten said. “He’s going to be advising us, since he’s the professional, not making the decision.”
Hall is being assigned to the project immediately, Short said, and the committee hopes to have guidance to work with prior to next month’s work session meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, May 16 at the .