Saturday, July 24, 2010

Emails needed before Tuesday!

Councilman Jim Strickland has proposed a resolution, passed in committee this past Tuesday, that would hire an outside expert in hydrology (no local engineers that we can find will go on record against the city engineers' Overton Park retention basin plan, since they all want to get contracts from the city) to survey the Midtown flooding and make recommendations. The city engineers are misrepresenting the 2006 study they commissioned and trying to do one large project in Overton Park instead of smaller projects all along the length of Lick Creek. We need an outside engineer to prove to the council that there are better and more effective solutions.

Please email the mayor and city council to let them know you support Jim Strickland's resolution. My letter is below. People present for the council meeting wearing park shirts Tuesday morning would also be very welcome.,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Dear Mayor Wharton,

I attended the council meeting this morning to support Councilman Strickland's resolution to have an outside engineering company that specializes in storm water issues do a study of the Lick Creek plan before proceeding with the city engineers' project.

I am the president of Park Friends and have been a member of the Lick Creek coalition from its beginning, and I have learned far more about storm water than I ever wanted to in my efforts to defend Overton Park from harm. The 2006 study by Oakley Ellers of the Lick Creek area concluded that detention in Overton Park will not help either Belleair or VECA, where the houses are flooding. They studied a smaller detention area than is currently being proposed by Director Gaskins, but they concluded it would not help.

The current proposal, which dumps a great deal more water in the park, has not been studied at all. Our coalition has tried to get local engineers to comment on the proposal, but all local engineers seem to be involved in city contracts one way or another, and no one will go on record about a plan proposed by the city office. We desperately need an outside, objective, expert opinion to weigh in on this major change to the park before we seriously consider it.

This plan may not help at all. The 2006 study said the only remedy was smaller detention basins up and down the length of Lick Creek. Your engineers have implemented only one of the study's recommendations as laid out, and it is not finished yet. Director Gaskins has been very unwilling to follow the study he himself commissioned and instead has come up with this one, huge, unstudied alternative that does harm to the park.

Please support Councilman Strickland as he tries to get an expert to take a look at our total drainage situation in Midtown before we do a large, irrevocable project with unknown consequences in an important and historic park.

Thank you for your support of our parks and green spaces.
Martha Kelly,
president, Park Friends

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