Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
By William Kincaid
City wants to create detention area for flooding
  CELINA - City officials want to create a detention area on U.S. 127 near Beaver Creek to temporarily capture high waters strewn during heavy rains.
Mayor Jeff Hazel this morning called the project critical to protecting nearby businesses during floods.
The city has applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a $213,425 hazard mitigation grant. Officials likely will find out in the next three to four months if the application is approved. The grant would pay for the entire project.
"I think we've got a decent chance, particularly ... because of the (Celina) Medical Center," Hazel said.
If rejected, the city would try to pay for the detention area itself because it's so important to protect businesses from flood damage, Hazel noted.
The detention area with 35,000 cubic yards of storage capacity is planned for immediately north of Beaver Creek on a large, empty city field behind Bella's Italian Grille.
"It would just take over this whole area," Hazel said.
The area would not be designed to hold water all of the time, just during heavy rains and flash flooding - thus the designation of detention instead of retention, Hazel pointed out.
It would be used to detain overflowing water from Beaver Creek to prevent flooding northwards, he said. The captured water eventually would release back to the creek once the heavy rains or flooding stops.
"The medical center is our key target because they're low enough - this protects them," Hazel said.
The Celina Medical Center also is looking into installing its own storm pump, Hazel said.
The project could start this fall or next year and likely would take about a month to complete depending on the weather.
The detention area also would protect the city's nearby lagoons.
Officials in the past have talked about moving the three sludge lagoons along U.S. 127 to the renewable energy center. Hazel this morning said the city is still dealing with odor problems in the lagoons and would like to find a solution before moving the problem to somebody else's backyard.
"We are working on a couple different solutions on dealing with that where it's at now," Hazel said. "I really want them moved, but the smell is the key issue."
Both organic and chemical sludges from the water treatment plant are pumped to the three ponds, where they remain until cleaned out by Mike's Sanitation at a price of about $60,000 a year.
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