Council addresses drainage issues

By Tracy Douglas

The Champaign City Council Tuesday debated solutions to a drainage problem at the intersection of Daniel Street and Willis Avenue.

City Manager Steven Carter said Councilman Jim Green brought the problem to the attention of the council.

A report to the council by Eleanor W. Blackmon, assistant city engineer, said the intersection floods often. The report said the flooding is caused by the natural slope of the land with all of the water flowing to that point in a storm. Storm sewers overflow because of their low capacity.

“The current problem is not a current problem – it’s legendary,” said Champaign resident Mary Shay. She noted problems with water leaking into basements. Resident Nancy Taylor wanted the council to look into the property damage in the area.

“There are several solutions that can be looked at all at the same time. We can begin with the things that can be accomplished most quickly,” said Craig Rost, the city’s public works director.

Rost added that they want to engineer a solution that solves the problem. He said the intersection will be a part of the city’s master plan for drainage.

The council voted to combine two solutions. They directed the staff to upgrade the inlets to the storm sewers and build a backyard drain to drain the yards around the intersection.

Mayor Jerry Schweighart said the residents of the neighborhood should start an association to keep the council informed.