Open Letter: New Group Pushes for Action on Street Flooding

first_imgHaven Avenue between 34th and 29th streets during a December 2014 nor’easter.This letter is to inform you that a committee comprised of Fairness in Taxes members has been formed to address the problem of recurring flooding in our neighborhoods. Although property owners have called attention to the problem in the past, the city has been negligent in responding to repeated complaints. Mayor Gillian and City Council need to be reminded that the quality of life issues affecting property owners are more important than their wants. Where are our priorities?The flooding around our homes has only gotten worse in the past few years. Water can be seen spurting up out of storm drains at high tide even under clear skies. There has been an increase in flooding events as well as the increase in the depth of flood waters. Some have reported standing water as deep as 2 feet! Storm water flooding our homes, streets and sidewalks contains potentially deadly bacteria such as E.coli, garden materials like dirt, sand and mulch, animal urine and feces, herbicides, pesticides, broken glass, rusty screws and nails, wood, trash and more.Health concerns aside, many property owners are also experiencing recurring property damage from flood waters. Sidewalks and streets are crumbling, vehicles are being lost. Property owners are besieged by mold, and salt water intrusion is causing grass and plantings to die. You as a homeowner are expected to bear the financial burden of remedying the damage caused by the failure of the city to rectify the problem.The standard response is that we live on a barrier island and it’s going to flood. But the simple fact of the matter is our storm water system is antiquated. Storm water pipes no longer meet capacity requirements, and many pipes have deteriorated to the point that they no longer adequately handle storm water. Check valves, designed to allow water to flow out the system and prevent back flow, are either non-existent or non-functioning. In some neighborhoods pumping stations are required. The good news is that there is much the City can do to alleviate flooding in our neighborhoods. We don’t have to live with it. What is required is to prioritize street flooding and commit our resources to it.If you follow local news you know that municipal government has made a major commitment in the 5 year capital plan to infrastructure. Past experience shows us that throwing money at the problem doesn’t ensure that it will be rectified. There is a plan for repaving streets, but not for overhauling the storm water system and addressing the flooding issues we currently have. You can’t approach it piecemeal. Common sense tells us that a storm water plan needs to be integrated into the road repaving plan, and that we need a comprehensive plan for addressing both. Since road resurfacing is driving the project there are areas of town which regularly flood that are not addressed in the 5 year capital plan. Is your neighborhood one of them?We, the tax paying homeowners of Ocean City have the right to expect and demand that our elected city government stop the frivolous spending of millions of tax payer dollars and ensure the health and safety of our families, homes and property.What can you do? Please write, email or call Mayor Gillian and City Council and tell them to make street flooding a top priority before they take the final vote on the capital budget in February. If you would like to join the effort, contact the committee at [email protected] Please copy us on all correspondence to the City so we can keep track of it.Street Flooding Committee / Fairness in Taxeslast_img read more

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