Council, staff address erosion in Park Hurst neighborhood

Several residents of the Hurst Woods housing development attended the Rockford City Council meeting of Aug. 13. In question are continued water issues that have led to erosion and increased substantial flows, particularly during heavy rain events.

A resident in the development last year initially brought this situation to the city’s attention. His erosion was severe and growing worse. It was determined that the issue stemmed from incomplete follow through work by the developer. City staff was able to negotiate a one-time payment from the developer (who is no longer building in the area) to help in correcting the problem, along with a contribution by the property owner.

An inspection by the city’s engineer, Jared Ward of Wenck, showed that channel work and grade control structures put in place last year determined that, for the most part, they stayed in place and helped slow water, but that additional work needed to be done to effectively coordinate the flow during unusually heavy, or continuous, rains. Ward presented several options and recommended the work he thought would be the most efficient and durable. There was discussion over how this improvement would by paid for, and if the city should be further involved. The city’s administrator, Nancy Carswell, told the council that there were capitol improvement funds that could be used in funding if the council determined it wanted to move in that direction. It was discussed that if this improvement was funded in part, or whole, by the city that it would have to have assurance from the benefitting property owners that any additional work in the future would be their responsibility.

The council voted to authorize staff to design plans and specifications, and to go out for quotes on the work.

Administrator Carswell reported to the board that the Local Government Aid the city receives will be increased by $150 in 2014, good news going into council budgeting sessions for the upcoming year.

Councilor Rick Martinson thanked all involved in making Rockford River Days a success this year, a sentiment that was echoed by the rest of the council.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.