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Scott Township commissioners seek solutions to handle flood-prone areas

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Flood control dominated the last Scott Township commissioners' agenda meeting, as officials spent half the evening listening to tales of woe from affected residents.

Each resident had his or her own specific issues, but all of them agreed township officials need to do something.

Katharine Allen warned board members: “I am your worst nightmare.”

Her home was hit hard during the flooding that plagued western Pennsylvania last month.

“I am 5-feet-4, and I have water that high,” Allen said. “I have lost four automobiles that were parked in my driveway.”

Township engineer Larry Lennon went over an analysis of the area and highlighted some of the flood-prone areas of the township.

Officials seemed to be locked in a tug of war between needs and costs.

“How much is the community willing to bear?” asked Vice President David Jason of Ward 6.

Commissioner Williams Wells of Ward 2 tried to put himself in the residents' shoes.

“Can I go on vacation, or will I be flooded out when I get back?” Wells asked.

Lennon said knew the problem; he just needed a solution.

“I'm going to need an idea of exactly what you want me to do,” Lennon said.

Commissioners board President Thomas Castello said he wants to solve the problem but pointed out the price of doing it.

“Cost means raising taxes, and we couldn't get people to raise taxes two years ago,” he said.

When 4th Ward Commissioner David Calabria asked, “How are we going to help the people?” Castello told him: “I don't know.”

The evening floated on the debate of how to handle flooding. It ended only when 3rd Ward Commissioner Stacey Altman jumped into the fray.

“Why don't we come up with a plan and tell it to Larry?” Altman asked.

Lennon said: “It's going to be an expensive undertaking; storm water is not easy to control.”

On deck for next week's voting meeting are plans to repair segments of the township's sewer system. Lennon said the project is going to cost an estimated $9 million.

David Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5804 or dpaulk@tribweb.com.

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