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Scottdale residents question storm water system effectiveness

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By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Some Scottdale residents and businesses are questioning if the borough has an adequate storm water system.

Phil Indovina, owner of Phil's Flicks on Pittsburgh Street near the bottom of town, said during last week's heavy rain storm, the amount of water that came down the back alley was enough to push in his back door into the area where two tanning beds are set up.

“It just came running in with no warning, and my concern is for the safety of anyone that might have been in the tanning bed because they could have easily been electrocuted,” he said.

Borough Manager Angelo Pallone said when he went to look at the situation, the water was coming down the alley to a storm grate that crossed the entire alley.

Unfortunately, the storm grate was filled to capacity, and the water was rolling off that grate and down to the low-lying parking area and back door of Phil's Flicks and also the Geyer Performing Arts Center.

Bud Santimyer, councilman on the public services committee, said council is hoping to apply for funds through the Jacob's Creek Watershed Association with the GreenStreets Program to try and come up with a storm water runoff alleviation project for the alley. But even if the borough is approved for funding through the program, it wouldn't be until 2015 or 2016.

As a quick fix, the borough will look into the possibility of putting in some kind of roll curbing in the area.

Resident Tom Seaman, who lives near the bottom of the hill on Arthur Avenue, said this was the first time that he can remember that it has rained hard enough for him to get rain in his basement, although it was minimal.

“I think the closest storm water drain along Arthur (Avenue) is six blocks up, and the water coming down Loucks Avenue is coming over to Arthur Avenue by the time it gets to the bottom of the hill,” Seaman said. “Personally, I don't think we have a big enough storm water system in the borough.”

Pallone agreed, adding that once the storm system is full, there is no place for the water to go.

Santimyer said he and Councilman Jack Davis have been working closely with the JCWA to try and get funding through the GreenStreets Program to help out with water issues throughout the borough.

The borough has received $60,000 in funds through GreenStreets for this year's application to try and alleviate some water runoff issues behind businesses on Pittsburgh Street, including the Scottdale Pharmacy.

A project has been designed that would cut off any entrance onto or off of Pittsburgh Street from Graft Alley next to the Scottdale Pharmacy.

Instead, any entrance or exit onto that alley would be from the Mulberry Street area and would lead down the alley to two newly constructed parking lots to be located on either side of the alley behind the businesses.

These parking lots combined would create about 11 new parking spaces and would include porous concrete that would be used for the parking stalls as well as two different water swales and the planting of trees and bushes.

Council on Monday passed a motion to begin the process of getting the project under way by moving forward and obtaining permission from all of the property owners who use the alley.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer to the Daily Courier.

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