By Naomi Hatch –
“When there’s a problem, I like to find the solution to the problem,” Snowflake Fire Chief Pat Hancock told the town council June 26 as he requested approval for an invitation to bid for construction of flood control at Snowflake Fire Station No. 1.
The council met at the fire station prior to the regular meeting to see first hand the proposed flood control project the fire department administration had spent a great deal of time formulating.
The plan would mitigate future flooding due to rain, and they were asking permission to seek bids to construct a retaining wall and patio that would incorporate catch basins, piping and sump pumps to assist in relieving flooding issues.
Currently Chief Hancock uses a small sump pump and moves water from one place to another to get the water into the drainage ditch that takes the water to Cottonwood Wash.
Backup material prepared by Chief Hancock and Assistant Chief Dale Call explained that rain waters that fall on the front entrance and the west portion of the fire station roof are caught by the existing rain gutter system and directed off the building. The water is released at the base of the station with no means of removing it from the property or directing it away from the building, and the majority of that water naturally drains to the west and southwest sides of the station. Rain that falls on the rear parking area is also directed to the southwest corner of the fire station.
The existing grade is lower than what is required to allow rainwater to exit the property, explained Chief Hancock.
The plan would collect rain runoff from the rain gutters at the front entrance of the station and the rear parking area, and it would be channeled into the catch basins and pumped to the drainage ditch.
Town Engineer Rob Emmett and Town Manager Paul Watson had reviewed the plan. The estimated cost of the proposal would be $25,000 to $28,000 to complete and fully implement. Chief Hancock said that they would use some of the $52,000 they received for fighting wildland fires last year to fund the project.
“My intent was to get the whole job done, but to save money…we offer phasing,” said Call.
It was noted that while phasing the project would reduce the initial investment, it would most likely lead to an overall increase in the cost of the project.
When discussing the proposal at the regular council meeting, Mayor Kelly Willis questioned why they were not using a detention basin.
“You couldn’t build a big enough basin to have any impact,” said Emmett. “The fire station was built in a pit. It should have been elevated 8” to 12”, and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”
“What concerns me and worries me is having to rely on a sump pump in order to mitigate that water,” said Mayor Willis. “A wall does two things–holds things out and leaves things in.”
“The idea of a retention pond for a complete fix is probably not the best way to go,” said Councilman Chris Brimhall. “I think what you’re planning now is the best way to go,” though he did ask for more details and was shown the plans that had been prepared.
A motion to approve the recommendation to proceed with an invitation to bid for construction of a flood control project at the station passed unanimously.
The council asked Hancock, Call and Emmett to have guidelines before they go to bid on the project. They will come back to the council with bids and recommendations.