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Gathering the waters above Honesdale; first phase of five-phase storm water project is funded


February 8, 2012

Honesdale’s 50-year-old storm water problem could be solved soon. The borough has just received word from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that an application for $431,095 to install a retention pond in one of three descending streams, the first phase of a storm water management system, has been approved.

Storm water that usually rushes headlong down one stream will be retained. There are several others that need controlling.
“It’s a beginning,” said Wayne Earley, Honesdale building code official and zoning officer.

For years, flooding has occurred during heavy storms and hurricanes, with water rushing down the many hills on the west side of the borough, causing flooding in wide areas and ending at the Fourth Street and Route 191 intersection.

The retention pond will be located high in a place called the Blake’s Creek area. It will be 2.7 acres, and one foot deep, unless the borough engineer, Steve Knash, decides that it must be two feet deep, then the acreage would be half that, Earley said. “The retention pond slows down the rushing water and it gradually escapes over time,” he said.

“There are three tributaries coming down from the middle school on Terrace Heights, another tributary from the two elementary schools on Lakeside Road and another one from Crestmont Drive,” Earley said.

Because of the construction of the schools, with extensive parking lots and impervious surfaces, and because of other developments, storm water run-off begins along these flat surfaces and rushes downhill, causing potential damage below.
This problem, which has gone on for years, is being intensified due to new construction, Earley said.

The entire storm water management project will eventually involve five other phases and address other problem areas along Ridge Street, Elm Street, Grove Street and Terrace Street.

“The cost for all the six phases will be $1,226,723,” Earley said. The funding for the first phase came from the Monroe County gaming funds. It is hoped that this will be the source of funding for the entire project.

“Senator Lisa Baker and Assemblyman Mike Peifer have been very instrumental in achieving the funding,” he said.

“This will improve the area considerably,” said F.J. Monaghan, chairman of the borough council. “Our borough committees and the DPW will get working on this right away.”