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Drainage concerns on Eastwood Dr.

Neighbors to meet with school engineers

SOLON– “We want to be good neighbors,” assured Solon Community School District Superintendent Davis Eidahl.
He was speaking to residents of Eastwood Drive, a cul-de-sac sandwiched between Solon High School and the district’s new intermediate elementary, during a joint meeting of the city council and school board July 10.
Several of the street’s residents, including Janet Udelhofen, of 612 Eastwood Dr., presented the joint session with a petition asking the city and school to reconsider how the new school site is draining while under construction.
“We have always had issues in our backyards,” Udelhofen told school board and council members. Even a modest rain causes sump pumps to run nonstop, she said, and if the power goes off, the homes flood.
The new diversion plan for Solon Intermediate, she said, to empty two culverts into their backyards, “is most definitely going to cause widespread flooding, damage to property and health issues for us.”
Eastwood Drive and an adjacent subdivision, Marshek Court, have experienced storm water issues for decades. The two small neighborhoods are immediately west of Solon Middle School and the former high school football and practice fields.
Udelhofen said the petition included the signatures of 12 residents hoping to revisit the issue.
“You’ve got to understand that we’re a long way from being done, but I know that we have a period of time that we have to take care of between now and hopefully completion and hopefully resolution,” said school board member Rick Jedlicka. “Trust that when we first started looking at that location as a possible site, the very first thing we did was talk to the engineers about water mitigation.”
Jedlicka said the district asked for the site to be designed not only to alleviate the existing problems but to accommodate the new building as well.
“The question becomes what do we do between now and the time the building is done and hopefully then all the things they designed are working properly because they assured us we were going to be in good shape,” Jedlicka said.
Mike Kasparek, the district’s building and grounds director, and Scott Kleppe from the city’s public works department had been on site, he said, and temporary measures would be taken.
Kasparek said an additional swale would be cut to protect the private residences, and Kleppe suggested grates or screens could help slow the flow of water discharging from the detention basin’s two pipes.
Udelhofen asked if the residents of the cul-de-sac could sit down with the district’s engineers to gain some assurance about the project.
“Right now we just don’t have that level of trust, if you can understand,” she said.
Eidahl indicated he would be willing to set up the meeting.
School board member Jim Hauer suggested taking the meeting to the construction area.
“I think sometimes the best way to evaluate it is not sitting around the table and looking at it,” he said. “We’ll go out to the site so you can point out what your concerns are.”
Subsequent to the meeting, Kleppe speculated residents were alarmed by the flow coming out of the discharge pipes after the recent heavy rain.
Kleppe said the overflow from the detention basin, installed as part of the project, runs through pipes under the abandoned railroad bed, emptying into a swale next to the back yards on Eastwood Drive.
The basin is working, he said, but contractors have not controlled the outflow. There was no damage caused to property, he said.