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Brookings’ stormwater system due for repairs

The city of Brookings needs $10 million in stormwater infrastructure repairs over the next 10 years, it was announced at a city council work session Monday.

The news came on the heels of various studies of the system after the storms and flooding in November 2012, and will be included as part of the update of the city’s infrastructure master plan.

According to Aaron Speakman, engineer with The Dyer Partnership of Coos Bay, the master plan is designed to assist the city in managing its storm water infrastructure for the next 20 years. The master plan was updated last in 2008, and since then, the city has experienced a “significant amount of damage,” Speakman wrote in his executive summary.

Television camera studies this past year have shown that Brookings has numerous deficiencies in its stormwater pipes, including cracks, inadequately sized pipes and aging materials.

“A wide variety of deficiencies were observed the television inspection tapes of the existing stormwater system,” Speakman wrote. “Each deficiency has the potential to contribute significantly to the problems within the city’s storm collection system.”

Most of the infrastructure buried beneath in the ground is privately owned, but Brookings has 23 miles of pipes that range in size from 8 to 60 inches in diameter. A significant portion of the stormwater system is open channels.

Repairing or enlarging parts of the system will not only help prevent property loss during major storms, but reduce city staff time patrolling and addressing floods during those events.

Projects ahead

Speakman prioritized projects into three categories, with the highest priority jobs needing to be addressed as soon as funds are available, the second group needing to be considered in its capital improvement plan and taken care of within five years; and the third being of low priority or related to future development.

“These are proactive, not reactive,” said Public Works Director Loree Pryce. She noted that the study included a comprehensive hydraulic study of the city’s 40-plus watersheds, its slopes and soil types in evaluating the stormwater system.

Twenty-two projects are listed as top priority, with the most expensive being the reconstruction of Railroad and Hazel streets and Del Norte Lane, with an estimated cost of $1.71 million. Repairs to Tanbark Avenue and Railroad Street are projected to run $617,800 and the area that flooded in 2012 behind McDonald’s to the Mill Creek pond, at a cost of $520,000.

Speakman said he recommended  the city undertake the highest-priority jobs in the next year or two and the remainder within five years.

Other top priorities include:

•Elk Drive to Ross Road right-of-way (ROW)

•Ross Road to north side of Highway 101

•North side of Highway 101 to south side of McDonald’s

•NAPA Auto Parts area

•Highway 101 crossing at NAPA Auto Parts

•Macklyn Creek near the Pacific Ocean

•Ransom Avenue between Macklyn Creek and Kevin Place

•Floral Drive

•Marina Drive and Old County Road

•Fifth Street and Ransom Avenue

•Ransom Avenue between Third Street and Highland Avenue

•North side of City Hall

•Highway 101 and Mill Beach Road

•Hemlock Street between Fern Avenue and Willow Street

•Memory Lane and Buena Vista Loop

•Memory Lane, west of Cypress Street

•East side of Buena Vista Loop, and

•Old County Road between Lundeen Road and Fir Street.

Some properties are private rights of way or the responsibility of the state Department of Transportation, it was noted in the report.

Priority 2 projects total 17, with the most expensive being a rerouting of Old County Road at $1.31 million, infrastructure around Arnold and Rowland lanes and Smith Drive at $751,310; and a $476,990 expenditure for work at Mendy and Art streets and Pacific Avenue.

Other projects, most in the quarter-million-dollar range, include Alder Street between Birch Street and Memory Lane, Seventh and Hassett streets, King Street between Railroad and Wharf streets and Ransom Avenue between Kevin Place and Pioneer Road.

Potential financing options could include bonds, loans, local improvement districts, capital construction funds or increases in system development charges attached to residents’ water bills.

“It’s inevitable we’ll have to take SRF (System Replacement Funds) funds and borrow money to get moving on this,” said Mayor Ron Hedenskog. Pryce added that she has an SRF rate study that can help determine how the work will be funded.

The city council is also considering putting a question on a yet-to-be-determined ballot asking voters to approve a gasoline tax to pay for the maintenance and repair of streets, which would be affected when stormwater projects are tackled.

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