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Residents Hear About Plans For Stormwater Solutions

Suzanne Hatcher’s neighborhood on Moran Prairie is a flood zone.

Homeowners have coped with waterlogged basements. A sinkhole opened up in front of her house two years ago.

Hatcher said she discovered the hole when her daughter went to get the mail and her foot broke through the pavement. The girl plunged up to her waist.

She was bloodied by cuts, but the injuries weren’t serious, Hatcher said.

Now, Spokane County is talking about options for solving the stormwater problems that have plagued Hatcher’s neighborhood and the surrounding area.

“They are finally beginning to listen to citizens’ concerns,” Hatcher said.

About 100 residents showed up at a meeting last week to learn more about proposed stormwater solutions, and to give their opinions of the plans.

A Boise consultant said it would cost between $19 million to $26 million for three alternatives in the Glenrose watershed, which includes Moran Prairie and Browne Mountain.

Two similar, but separate alternatives were recommended for the Central Park area at a cost of $6 million to $9 million.

“We are asking which alternatives are acceptable to you,” said consultant Bill Lynard.

Construction probably would not start until 1999 at the earliest.

All of the proposals would create a stormwater system to move peak runoff to an infiltration pond at Eighth and Carnahan.

The lower-cost plans call for construction of retention ponds in the upper portions of the watersheds to slow the flow of runoff and reduce the need for larger, costlier pipes, Lynard said.

The plans also call for creating and protecting natural drainage ways where development has not occurred. New construction would be prohibited along 200-foot-wide drainage corridors.

Cheryl Gwinn, a member of the Moran Prairie Neighborhood Association, said the plans sound fine, but she questions the political courage of county officials to solve the problem, especially in the face of pressures for development.

Some of the retention ponds and drainage ways are proposed for land that is being eyed by developers.

Cedar Builders wants to put a shopping center and housing development at 57th and Regal, land which was identified by the consultant as a likely site for a retention and infiltration pond.

A housing project is being proposed along another drainage area on South Freya behind Ferris High School. Another shopping center is being sought just upstream on the drainage way at 44th and Regal.

Along Glenrose Road, developer Al Payne and landowners want to put up houses adjacent to yet another drainage area identified by the consultant. Payne has been unable to win approval for the development.

His property was damaged by erosion when overflow from a county pipe flooded his land.

“It certainly needs to be done,” Payne said of the need for a stormwater system.

Payne said he would be willing to negotiate with the county for use of his land as part of a public stormwater system.

“They have to be reasonable,” he said. “We’re not going to give it away.”

, DataTimes