The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 1, 2013

Water tanks, sewer work on Conneaut to-do list

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Spiffed-up water tanks and a possible cure for flooded basements will become reality over the next several months, officials said.

The projects are part of a capital improvement push city leaders want to complete before the snow flies.

Expected to materialize first is an improvement to sanitary and storm sewer lines and water pipes that service the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Existing 18- and 24-inch lines on Harbor Street between the lakefront plant and Park Avenue will be replaced with a 30-inch pipe at a cost estimated around $620,000, said City Manager Tim Eggleston.

CT Consultants, the city’s engineering firm, is about “30 percent” complete on the design phase, Eggleston said. Late last month, Councilman-at-large John Roach, noting the importance of the project, urged the city to complete work before winter arrives.

Eggleston said he is optimistic the infrastructure upgrade can be finished this year. “CT knows it’s a priority,” he said.

City officials are hopeful the bigger pipe will help ease problems with flooded basements some north Conneaut neighborhoods experience after heavy rain. Last month, many homes were flooded after a torrential downpour. Rain infiltrates sanitary sewers, overwhelming the system and causing back-ups, officials have said.

Additional studies are ahead to pinpoint a cause for the flooded basements, Eggleston said.

Meanwhile, a water tank under construction on Creek Road near the Kingsville Township line could be operational by year’s end, Eggleston said. The tank will replace a rusting standpipe on Creek Road in the township that has stood for decades near Route 193.

The new tank will be painted and emblazoned with the words “Conneaut Ohio” separated by an image of the iconic harbor lighthouse, Eggleston has said.

Next year, the Brown Avenue water tower will also get a facelift. If the budget allows, the tank will be painted in the colors of Conneaut High School and the words “Spartan Country” affixed on the side, Eggleston said.

Also in 2013, technicians should bolster a small stretch of Keefus Road near Interstate 90 that threatens to slide down an embankment. A severe storm a few years ago weakened a portion of the unpaved road and sent it tumbling down a bank. City workers made temporary improvements that have allowed through traffic.

CT is working to get more bidders for the Keefus project, Eggleston said. The company eventually chosen to do the soil-strengthening project will also be asked to see if the same technique can keep a section of Burrington Heights from collapsing into Lake Erie. The lake bank is already biting into the paved road where it parallels the shore.