Assesments for Wheelock &Watkins Drain project to be set

By David Fleet
Goodrich-The village drain project, approved more than six years ago moved forward this month.
Sue Hogan, senior engineer of the of surface water management for the Genesee County Drain Office said the renovation of the century old village drain system, which will impact an estimated 130 village parcels, should now be going by early September.
From 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 15, the Genesee County Drain Office, 4608 Beecher Road, Flint will host a meeting to review the apportionment of benefits for the parcels within the drainage district. Weather permitting, construction of the drain will start upon receipt of the borrowed money for the project. Assessment information will be available on or after Aug. 15, over the phone, at the meeting or at Drain assessments against land will be collected in the same way as property taxes (on the winter tax bill.) Residents will have until Aug. 26 to prepay the assessment to avoid interest charges.
“The bidding is complete and the next step is assigning a dollar amount,” said Hogan. “Those contractors responding had 45 days to submit a response. We will also be working around utilities so it takes more time. There are layers and layers of utilities around some very old pipes. Some (of the pipes) were installed in the 50s some are from the 1800s which will need replacement.”
The planned work is on the Wheelock & Watkins Drain—an agricultural drain built in 1897 and which encompasses a large section of the village. The old drain under the jurisdiction of Genesee County has been one possible cause of flooding of several residents’ homes over the past few years. About seven years ago, the flooding intensified, prompting village officials to engage the county drain officials to investigate the issues.
“Since the village has all the roads within the drainage district, they along with residents will be assessed,” she said. “Now that the project is bid the financing can be set.”
As a result, petitions were signed and in a special meeting on April 9, 2013 at the village offices, a board of determination voted 3-0 to move forward with an upgrade to the Wheelock & Watkins Drain.
“The (Goodrich Commons) park is the beginning of the project,” she said. “We work up stream from there. It’s a cost and time savings to go though the park where village streets will not be torn up. There are a lot of pieces that will affect the budget of this project. When the project is completed a more reliable, consistent and efficient drainage system will be in the village.”
“The contractors will back fill as the go forward,” she added. “So, there should not be a lot of exposed holes open.”