Monterey officials agreed on Monday to begin taking steps to address flooding issues around town.
Members of the board of mayor and aldermen voted to begin several small projects that would help alleviate the flooding problems until a massive stormwater drainage project can take place.
Monterey Ward 2 Aldermen JJ Reels said he’s happy about the board’s decision because the flooding affects his constituents.
“I think that overall we need to have a long-stretching solution to fix the problem and this will address that in trying to start towards that goal,” Reels said. “Being in my ward, I’ve got a lot of phone calls over the last few weeks about fixing the problem.”
The board will be investigating a fix to a collapsed drain in the area of the city police department and working to clean out a ditch line along Industrial Drive and Railroad Avenue.
“Simple things compound into a big problem like we had two weeks ago. The ditch line over by Industrial Drive is overgrown and water can’t properly flow through there,” Reels said. “We are restricted on what we can do because it’s a creek bed, but we can clean it out. It’s little steps that we can take to fix the problem until we have the master plan in place to fix it in the long run.”
Meantime, the board voted to apply for a Tennessee Emergency Management Agency pre-disaster mitigation grant that would help pay for a long term solution. Engineer Jerry Warren has presented the city a $425,000 plan that would address drainage issues throughout the town.
Mayor Bill Wiggins said the flooding issue around town has been a problem for a long time.
“Over the years Monterey has been presented with a number of solutions, but nothing is ever really solved,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins said a plan to fix the problem was submitted in 2008 and another plan never gained traction last year.
During a rain event two weeks ago, the city’s failing drainage system caused several homes and businesses to flood around Crossville Street and Commercial Avenue. Many of those business owners and residents showed up at Monday night’s meeting to express their concerns.