Monday, February 27, 2012

City partners with Missouri S&T on stormwater improvements

The City of Rolla’s Public Works Department received a green light from the Rolla City Council recently to move forward with plans to partner with Missouri University of Science and Technology with stormwater improvements on the Missouri S&T campus.
 When Public Works Director Steve Hargis was informed that Missouri S&T has plans this summer to rebuild the parking lot south and west of the existing Gale Bullman Multipurpose Building located at 10th and U.S. Highway 63, he saw an opportunity for the City to partner with Missouri S&T and continue its long range plans for storm water improvements throughout the community.  
Although the project is still in the planning stages, the Public Works Department is proposing to provide materials to Missouri S&T for installation in conjunction with the parking lot improvement. The area where the improvements will be made also encompasses the Rolla Watershed Basins Phase 1 Flood Control Improvements and Watershed Basins Phase 2 Storm Sewer System Improvements. The areas that are impacted by these flood control improvements are located at 10th and Poole and Kingshighway/Bishop Avenue, which have been prone to flooding during heavy rains in the past. The City is proposing a set of two 48” diameter storm drains be installed to augment the existing system that crosses this area. The estimated cost for materials, which would be funded through the Street Dept. Reserve Fund, is $100,000 and the University would bear all of the costs for installation.
Currently, the flood control systems that are in place in this area where the Multipurpose Building and athletic fields are located will provide for a storm just under a two-year storm. The proposed improvements described above would increase the stormwater capacity to that of a 10-year storm. Ideally the City would like to upgrade all of its stormwater systems to handle a 25-year storm, but necessary funding for such an undertaking would be very costly.
Finding ways to work efficiently, improve the City’s stormwater system, and help eliminate flood-prone areas, is something I and the Rolla Council endorse. I am hopeful that this project will be seen as yet another example of how the City and Missouri S&T can work collaboratively to address important projects and challenges that impact both the campus and community. I will keep the community up to date as this project continues to unfold.
 In closing, I’d like to mention that a City Council special workshop to discuss operations and financing for the City’s Parks and Recreation Department will be held on Monday, Feb. 27. The workshop, which is open to the public, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Rolla City Hall – Council Chamber, located at 901 N. Elm Street. The next regularly scheduled City Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Rolla City Hall.
Enjoy the weekend and have a safe week!

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