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Public Works recommends action on stormwater issue

Flash flooding in Richmond is causing some residents to bring attention to what they call a safety issue.
The Richmond Public Works Committee recommended Wednesday night to pursue cost estimates to make storm water improvements along South Street between Thornton and Camden streets.
Richmond resident Jason Whitt, at a City Council meeting on May 12, raised the issue earlier this month. Three days later, Whitt and his wife had a camera full of pictures illustrating their concerns after a flash flood on May 15.
Whitt brought pictures to the committee last night that show a small lake running next to Whitt’s house when it rains. Whitt said the storm two weeks ago caused the floodway to rise over the road at levels he has not seen since moving into the house more than five years ago.
Whitt said every time there is a heavy rain, the small pond attracts kids. He said after the storm he had to run off two kids playing near the water.
“We all know kids will do this but all it takes is one kid getting injured or killed and that’s going to be a permanent fixture,” Whitt told the City Council on Tuesday night. “I work in the public sector. I work in a public school. Money should not be an option on keeping someone safe.”
The committee looked at different options Wednesday night and directed City Administrator Rick Childers to begin researching the costs of the project.
The city is experiencing stormwater issues in a number of areas throughout the town, including the area near McKinley and Wilson Blvd. That project is currently being worked on. Childers said the work that has been completed is already working in that area. After this problem is solved, Childers said the next challenge would be deciding on the next location.
“We have a number of locations that have a valid claim to being ‘this is the worst spot,’” Childers said Tuesday night. “There’s not a shortage of possible projects.”
Childers said city crews would soon begin work on Southview Park’s drainage issues, particularly near the amphitheater.

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