Weather delays start of village drain project

By David Fleet
Goodrich-Final design for village drain project that was approved more than six years ago has been delayed this summer due to the late spring rain.
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 84 village parcels, should now be going by early September.
“The bidding is next and assigning a dollar amount will follow,” said Hogan. “Those contractors responding will have 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 project will not interfere with Good Times in Goodrich on Aug. 3, she added.
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. “Once the project is bid it then financing is set. There will be a notice in the mail and the amount will be determined that’s not burdensome to the residents.”
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.”
While the cost is yet to be finalized, Hogan said that anyone that contributes water to the drain and receives benefit will be part of the assessment. The general health and welfare of the community typically is about 25 percent of the cost.