City seeks drainage project funding

After a heavy rain, water can cover the streets of the Glenbrook housing addition for hours, making it difficult for some residents to get to and from their homes.

By applying for a $1 million federal disaster recovery fund grant, Seymour officials want to be able to fix drainage problems in that area on the city’s southwest side sooner rather than later.

On Monday, the Seymour City Council authorized Administrative Resources association in Columbus to submit the grant application to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs by Sept. 11.

During a public hearing, no one spoke in favor of or against the grant submission.

If awarded the grant, the city would have to provide local matching funds of $276,000. That money would come from Seymour’s stormwater utility, Mayor Craig Luedeman said.

“There is a lot of flooding in that area,” he said, adding the project is definitely needed.

Trena Carter with ARa told the council she is awaiting the results of an income study of the area before completing the grant application to determine if the project qualifies. More than 51 percent of the residents in the targeted neighborhood must have low to moderate incomes, she said.

Luedeman said residents in Glenbrook and nearby neighborhoods were the first to support the city’s decision to implement a stormwater utility in early 2014 because of their drainage problems.

The bulk of the $1 million grant would be used to remove existing culverts and install a hybrid ditch with new overflow inlets and a perforated underdrain between Glenbrook Drive and Meadowlark Place. That system would allow stormwater to drain much more quickly and move it away from the residential area.

Additional work would include cleaning and regrading sections of existing ditch and cleaning and inspecting existing storm sewer lines.

Also, as part of the project, work would be completed to remove brush and trees along the William McDonald Ditch, which takes the stormwater from the Glenbrook addition west through Freeman Field toward South Airport Road and then north to the Von Fange Ditch near Schleter Road and then to the East Fork White River.

Part of the William McDonald Ditch would be widened, with bank restoration and stabilization work taking place as needed, according to a drainage study completed in April by Wessler Engineering.

If the city does not receive the grant, Luedeman said, the project will likely be delayed until the city can find another way to pay for it.

“We would probably have to do it in phases and just fund it entirely from the stormwater utility,” he said.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at or 812-523-7069.