Before plans for Falls Landing Park come before the Jeffersonville City Council for a vote at its Monday meeting, the city’s fiscal body was given an update on the proposed project earlier this week.
Falls Landing Park is part of a project designed to mitigate flooding in downtown Jeffersonville. The planned park would surround a retention pond that would be located between Eighth and Ninth streets and Indiana Ave. At its meeting earlier this month, the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission approved by a vote of 3-2, with Commissioners Rob Stevens and James Lake voting against, to pay $698,000 of the city’s match to construct the pond and the park. The total price for the project is about $1.2 million and the remainder of the cost is being paid for by a $500,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
Approval for the city to approve the matching money for the grant is on a tight timeline and must take place at the city council’s Monday meeting, or the city risks losing the funds, said City Grant Administrator Delynn Rutherford.
To attempt to answer questions and quell concerns, the city council held a workshop Wednesday to discuss the project.
Jorge Lanz, president of Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz Inc., the engineering company working on the project, provided an overview of the city’s plan to install a combined sewer overflow system downtown and to address flooding issues.
“What’s going to keep us out of trouble with the EPA is, instead of discharging combined sewer into the Ohio River, we’re going to store it in this 2 1/2-mile tunnel ... and then we’re going to run it through the pump station, to the downtown plant and treat it and then discharge it to Mill Creek,” Lanz said.
The tunnel is the overflow pipe which would store water so the system is not overwhelmed and results in flooding. The pond is also designed to capture and slow the flow of water out of the area, which has been an area of consistent flooding problems in Jeffersonville.
“We’ve taken out the rainwater from the combined sewer interceptor so it betters our chances of not having a surcharge or a combined sewer overflow,” Lanz said.
However, there are still areas of concern at Eight Street and Ohio Avenue and Eighth and Spring streets.
Lanz explained that new sewers installed at the intersections which connect to the storm sewer would be able to take more rainwater and help relieve the combined sewer. But when a heavy rain occurs, flooding could still result and cause a combined sewer overflow by sewer water coming out of manholes in the intersections.
Lanz said if the sewer water would come out of the manholes, it would get on top of the pavement and run into the storm sewers in the curbs. The sewer water would then flow into the storm sewer, at which point it could go into the retention pond.