City Achieves Highest Level Of Incompetency In Handling Storm Water Runoff

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Those of us who live downstream from Hamilton Place Mall have had a flooding problem since the mall was built 25 years ago.  We had meeting after meeting with city officials at which they made numerous promises to fix the problem.  After 25 years the problem still ain't fixed. 

City officials knew early on that the mall had built insufficient storage capacity and was releasing too much water for the creek to handle downstream which was causing severe flooding problems.  The city should have worked with the mall to fix the problem and they should also have taken every measure to insure that the problem would not become worse.  

In May 2000, the city engineer had one of the employees do a survey in the mall area and found that 66 businesses that were supposed to build on site ponds didn't build them and that 37 who were supposed to build off site ponds didn't build them and that others only built the ponds a fraction of the size that they were supposed to be.  Almost all of these businesses were built after the mall was built. Another large business was built about a year ago and they didn't build a holding pond.  Another business built a pond, but then covered it up.  I called this to the attention of the storm water people.  They checked and said they had no record of it ever haven been build.   

This then raises some questions for the storm water management people.  I understand that businesses who build holding ponds don't pay as high a storm runoff fee as those that build them. So, how do you bill the business the correct amount if you don't even know who has and who has not built the ponds? How much trouble would it be to assign someone the responsibility of seeing that a business that applies for a building permit follows the city law and builds the called for retention?  It would also be a good idea to check the ponds once a year to ensure that they have not been filled in and are working order.   

The city needs to have an independent firm do a survey of the entire city to see which businesses have build the required retention so that they can be sure that the crooks who didn't are not receiving an unearned discount. 

I remember when the flooding first started how upset and worried my elderly neighbors were.  He was legally blind and both of them were in poor health.  They had to spend the last four or five years of their lives worrying whether the water would get into their house.  This all because city employees were not doing their job and the elected officials weren't holding them responsible.

I have been unable to use my garage or driveways in heavy rain since the flooding began.  I get 18" of water in my garage.  I have suffered around $60,000 in damage since the flooding began and have had no help from the city.  Additionally, I have had only partial use of my property since the flooding started. 

The city needs to do a through investigation of the storm water section to see why they have failed so miserably to do their job and make the necessary corrections.  The magnitude of their incompetence became glaringly obvious to us victims soon after the flooding started.  Hopefully it is by obvious to the elected officials by now and they will act to fix this problem.   

The city needs to consider raising the affected buildings since almost the whole basin which this creek drains has been paved over.  The evidence of the city's incompetent handling of the storm water runoff in this area is here for any objective person to see in concrete and asphalt. 

Homer L. Goins

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Why To Vote Yes On Amendment One

I am still troubled about an editorial of several weeks ago on how women should not have to have government tell them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies.  Today I saw the advertisement being shown in Chattanooga.  There are so many untruths in it that I can’t just sit by and do nothing.   The editor was misinformed about what the Amendment One actually ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)