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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Cochran Engineering’s plans for a dry stormwater retention basin may need to be lager than originally planned.
During a work session last Thursday night, Ste. Genevieve aldermen and Cochran’s David Van Leer decided that planning for something larger than a 100-year flood would be a good idea.
Concern was expressed about possible development of the area around the planned basin and how that could affect future water runoff.
Van Leer agreed to come back to a future work session with adjusted plans.
Among the concerns were building being done by the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District, above the basin location.
Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan expressed concern about how future school construction could affect the detention basin.
“I’m just trying to look into the future a little bit of saying, how can we build everything into our basin to take care of everybody, one without knowing the whole plan up here and our future?” he asked. “Because I’d hate to spend $200,000 and build this thing and then five years down the road, it’s not big enough.”
“It’s not going to be big enough,” Ward 3 Alderman Joe Steiger said. “That’s my question. Why are we only building it to 100 year and there’s only going to be more development, there’s not going to be less development?
“All that area inside there to Ninth Street, you know eventually that’s going to get developed. Now not all that probably drains down into this, but a lot of it I think would probably drain and then everything to the east would potentially, if it ever gets developed. The 100 year pending designation, why was that chosen?”
Van Leer said it is the “standard practice.”
A 100-year flood is one with a 1% chance of occurring each year.
Donovan disagreed with Steiger’s contention that much of the nearby land is likely to be developed.
“Mississippi Lime owns the majority of the property around here all the way down to Ninth Street,” he said. “I’m not sure. That’s probably a stretch to think some of that might be turned into a development.”
Still, he shared some concerns, noting that the $240,000 now estimated for the basin is about $40,000 higher than originally projected and feared having to make future accommodations for more development.
“By the time this thing comes into possibly being, where are we going to be?” he asked. “How is the city not the bearer of all of the costs and how can we be fair and shake this thing down to everybody who is shedding water up there is the real (question).”
Mayor Brian Keim said he felt the school district “is open to a conversation about their water.”
He said he and Dr. Paul Taylor, superintendent of schools, have had discussions on the issue.
It was also noted that if the school district has future development of their property, they would have to make appropriate stormwater plans.
Van Leer explained the possible approaches.
“We’re going to try to project how much development is going to happen in this drainage basin, and we’re going to try to account for all that in this design,” he said, “or are we going to account for what we know is happening right now and that’s the school and then if future development happened, the cost of stormwater improvements either on their property or at the regional attention basin would be at the developer’s expense?”
Steiger brought up the proposed extension of Ridgeway to Highway 61, arguing that this would create significant development that would affect the water flow.
“I think we all know that we have to try to get that extension,” he said.
“So that’s what I’m saying, are we building this big enough?” Steiger later added, “because we’re going to get development up there.”
The board had favored the idea of a try detention basin rather than a wet one that would double as a city lake, when the issue was hashed out last year.