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School drainage issue questions bond between city and school

By Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont City Council confirmed Monday at their meeting that the drainage issue at Piedmont Intermediate School needs to be fixed and they decided that they were taking matters into their own hands from here on out.

Any idea of a partnership between the school and the city were has been exhausted and all members of the council agreed that the drainage problem needs to be fixed, whether the school decides to pitch in or not. The council agreed that the first course of action in addressing this issue is to put up a sign indicating that during intense rains, the area in front of the Intermediate School is subject to flooding.

The councilmen agreed that putting up the sign is definitely a necessity, but fixing the drainage issue by redirecting the water underneath 164th street, then back south is probably the most logical way to handle the problem at this point.

The Piedmont School Board voted earlier this month to reject an agreement between the city and the school to not build a new drainage structure along 164th and that was the basis for most of the council’s criticism against the school at Monday’s meeting.

Councilman Donnie Robinson said at the meeting that the roads need to be fixed regardless of the circumstance between the city and the school.

“I want them to write us a check, do this job and be done with it,” Robinson said.
Councilman Vernon Woods said at the meeting that everything the council spoke about with the school was moot at this point.

“Everything we are talking about is down the drain,” Woods said. “It’s going to be torn up anyway, so I think we’ve learned a lesson.”

The unanimous decision on Sept. 10 from the School Board to reject the city’s proposal to pay about $32,000 of the estimated $55,000 project to build a new ditch system was acknowledged at Monday’s meeting. If the School Board had voted to accept the proposal from the city, then the school would have paid the difference.

Woods and other council members said that the best solution would be to re-route the water underneath 164th and let it flow south and in the meantime, put up the safety sign as a precautionary measure.

In other business, the council voted to buy two 2010 Chevrolet Tahoes from the Kansas Highway Patrol. Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein told the council that a couple of their Crown Victorias weren’t in the best condition and had a lot of miles.

Oblein added that there would be a surplus of about $3,300 that would go toward new equipment and equipment repairs to their existing fleet of vehicles.

The Piedmont City Council also voted to approve to seek bids to repair Piedmont’s water tower that was damaged from the May 24, 2011 tornado.

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