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Chester Creek Cleanup Is Approved

County commissioners approved a plan this week to dig brush and silt out of Chester Creek in hopes of stopping the flooding that has plagued residents along Dishman-Mica Road.

The commissioners voted Tuesday to extend CH2M Hill’s contract to do the work. The consulting and engineering firm has been working with a neighborhood action committee to develop a plan to manage stormwater runoff.

Work on removing the vegetation and a foot or two of silt that has settled in the creekbed could begin this summer.

“It looks like they’re going to finally clean up the creek,” said Sylvia Riddle, a lifetime Chester area resident and Chester Creek Watershed Committee member.

The creek overflows its banks nearly every year during spring runoff, deluging roads, Painted Hills Golf Course and nearby homes.

Flooding has been particularly bad recently. Earlier this month, floodwater surrounded a mobile home and threatened a couple of other homes when heavy rains and melting snow poured into the creek.

About one-third of Painted Hills Golf Course was also flooded on March 17. In January, most of the course was under water after a massive snow melt.

Chester Creek starts near Mica and flows a few miles before seeping underground east of the Dishman Hills Natural Area. The creek slows to a trickle in the summer.

Residents who live near the creek formed the Chester Creek Watershed Committee to develop a plan to better manage stormwater runoff.

The group met twice a month for more than six months discussing watershed characteristics, water flow, and how the earth absorbs and stores water.

The committee recently completed its draft watershed plan and is awaiting county commissioners to approve it.

Riddle has expressed concerned that more money has been spent on watershed studies than improvements.

“We citizens have been saying make it simpler, make it cheaper,” Riddle said Thursday.

, DataTimes