VALPARAISO | Although work already is underway on the Chautauqua Park flood relief project, the city will hold a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. April 29 at Memorial Elementary School to discuss the project and answer questions.
"The purpose for the meeting is to provide an overview of the project to residents and let them know how this project will affect their neighborhood. And, it will be an opportunity for the city and the contractor to answer questions and listen to citizens' concerns," Deputy City Engineer Adam McAlpine said.
G.E. Marshall began work on Yellowstone Road last week and has completed installation of storm sewers on George Street and Avondale Avenue. For now, the storm sewers have nowhere to empty, and, when rains occur, the contractor will have to pump them out, McAlpine said.
The water eventually will empty into a detention pond to be built just east of St. Paul School on Harrison Boulevard. The city is completing the acquisition of 10 acres there, and construction of the pond is expected to start next week and take about two months.
McAlpine said the city had to go to condemnation to buy the property because the owners did not agree on the city's original $162,000 offer, which was based on the average of two appraisals. The appraisers appointed by the court to determine the value of the land set it at $125,000, which the city's Board of Public Works and Safety approved Thursday for payment.
The owners have said they plan to appeal the amount, believing the land is worth closer to $300,000. While the appeal continues, the city can take possession and begin work.
Most residents of Chautauqua Park won't notice the storm sewer construction until after the public meeting, McAlpine said. They could see NIPSCO working in the area to install new plastic gas mains. That will be done in the parkway and should be done before the sewer work begins in the neighborhood.
Once Marshall begins excavating the detention pond, the company might halt work on Yellowstone or it could bring in extra crews to complete that work, McAlpine said. To learn more about the project, go to the city's website, www.valp.us, and click on the "city projects" listing under the "city government" heading on the home page.
The $2.88 million project will be completed in the fall. It is the first phase of stormwater relief work and covers the northern half of the neighborhood. The city expects to do a similar project for the southern portion in 2014.
Chautauqua Park is bounded by Yellowstone, Lincolnway, Campbell Street and the Canadian National Railroad tracks.