Public not informed about drainage study community meetings

Public not informed about drainage study community meetings
August 20 15:44 2017 Print This Article

Weston & Newton, a design, engineering and environmental services firm, was contracted by the City of Charleston to do a study for the Church Creek Drainage Basin, a 5000-acre area along the Bees Ferry Rd. corridor. The first step in their study is to get community input about the drainage issues and flooding taking place in the neighborhoods in the Church Creek Basin. Unfortunately, not many community members have not been able to give their input because the city has not publicized the meetings on its website events calendar or neighborhood newsletter. Also, the e-mail did not go out to representatives from Charleston County or the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Their input in this matter is crucial, and they should have been informed of the meetings.

The meeting schedule was sent out by city Director of Public Works Laura Cabiness to Mayor John Tecklenburg, members of City Council and several members of city staff on Tues., Aug. 15 while City Council was meeting. Lowcountry Source requested the schedule from Councilman Rodney Williams, who chairs the City Council Public Works Committee in person on Tues., Aug. 15 and then in an e-mail on Wed., August 15 and received no response. Then Lowcountry Source e-mailed Councilman Dean Riegel, who represents many of the impacted neighborhoods, on Thurs., August 16. He said the schedule had not been completed. Finally, Lowcountry Source got the schedule on Sun., August 20 from a Grand Oaks resident.

The first meeting was scheduled Mon., Aug. 14 following a meeting of the Shadowmoss Homeowners Association (HOA). Lowountry Source learned about the meeting from an HOA member during a conversation on another topic. Shadowmoss has had numerous flooding events since August 2015. A participant noted that only members of the Shadowmoss HOA received notification of the meeting and that about half of the neighborhood is not in the HOA. Meetings were also held in Village Green on Tuesday and Forest Lakes on Wednesday last week.

Future meetings are scheduled for Mon., Aug. 21 at 6:30 pm at the Canterbury Woods Clubhouse, 2070 Pinehurst Dr., and Thurs., Aug. 24 at 6:30 pm at the Crosstowne Christian Church at 1941 Bees Ferry Rd., a site that frequently floods. As of the August 15 email sent by Cabiness, meetings with the Hickory Hill and Hickory Farms subdivisions have not yet been scheduled.

Weston & Sampson will issue a findings of fact report and a list of recommendations with costs and parties responsible on October 1. The report will examine the preventive maintenance schedules being used now and recommendations for improving maintenance. Send your comments on drainage issues to Weston & Sampson project manager Bob Horner at HornerR@wseinc.com. We also recommend adding a community meeting at Drayton Hall Elementary School or another convenient location for residents and business owners who were not notified of the previously scheduled meetings.