Molly Davidson

Morrison-Maierle, Inc

Sidney City officials have approved a recommended Stormwater Master Plan submitted by the engineering firm Morrison-Malerie and with that plan will come a few modest rate hikes

Molly Davidson of Morrison-Maierle, Inc presented council members with a Stormwater Master Plan. The city had hired the firm to look at storm drainage issues within the city and create a plan to mitigate those issues.

The plan looks at four primary elements, according to Davidson. Those elements are the city’s existing system, creating a model for problem areas, creating a storm water program or department, and identifying the six largest problem areas.

In looking at the city’s current plan, the study looked at existing rules and regulations concerning storm water, the soil in the area, precipitation data, and broke the city into drainage basins. The firm also worked with the city’s staff to create a database for the city’s storm water system.

“That was very telling in looking at flooding areas and where that water was coming from,” said Davidson of the drainage basins.

The model created showing problem areas as well as runoff events over the past 10 years and 100 years. The model was then used to see if changing infrastructure would improve storm water drainage.

The plan recommends a number of changes, including the addition of retention ponds and pipes. Davidson also said the plan calls for proactive routine maintenance for problem areas rather than responding to issues after they occur.

The plan focuses primarily on using existing personnel rather than hiring a full crew.

Of course, any improvements or changes will have to be paid for and Davidson talked about that as well.

Davidson said commercial rates will be higher than residential because those areas typically generate more stormwater runoff. The plan also applies the rate evenly across the city rather than assessing higher fees for those in problem areas.

“Everyone within the Sidney city limits would be paying for stormwater improvements,” said Davidson.

Some of the improvements will be paid for with loans and grants, said Davidson. She said the city would be a good candidate to receive grants.

The residential rate based on the city using grants to pay for some of the work would be $6.95 and the commercial rate would be $13.90 per month to begin with. The rate would be modified over time as new projects were added.

The proposed projects were then prioritized with The Meadows subdivision coming in at the top of the list. That project would be divided into two phases with outlet pipes to the retention pond being added as one of the options. Anderson came in second highest and the recommendation is to add a retention pond. Wagon Wheel ranked third on the list with additional retention structures and creating new channels for stormwater runoff.

A motion was made to approve the Stormwater Mater Plan by Alderwoman Rasmussen and Alderman Koffler seconded. There was no discussion by council and the vote to approve the plan was unanimous.

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