TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Tippecanoe County officials said a 100-year-old drainage system in Clarks Hill needs to be replaced. For decades, it has flooded the town miles away from any body of water.
For more than 25 years, Lauramie Township Trustee Bill Easterbrook has seen the massive flooding in Clarks Hill.
The town is miles away from any body of water, but a 100-plus year old drainage system can put four feet of water in between neighbors during heavy rain storms.
Tippecanoe County Surveyor Zach Beasley said it is obvious the town needs a new storm water sewer system.
What's not obvious is who is going to pay for it. The county or the town?
"The problem has existed for many years, several decades," said Beasley. "It's always been a matter of funding."
Beasley said after April's heavy rain and flooding, engineers went into Clarks Hill and did a study of the drainage system. He said they came up with five solutions to replace the current system, all cost more than $1 million.
The full engineering report is expected to be complete by the end of the year. After that, Beasley wants to formally meet with all the stakeholders to talk about funding.
"Currently the drainage board and myself have not had a formal meeting with the town board. We have spoken to some of the members. We have spoken to some of the landowners in the water shed. We've spoken to some of the township trustees in Lauramie Township. All informal conversations. We have not had a formal meeting to date. I do anticipate that," said Beasley.
"Being township trustee, anything I can do that will benefit the taxpayers of Lauramie Township, I will be more than happy to do," said Easterbrook.
Easterbrook said funding needs to come from the town. Since a bulk of the system lies underneath the incorporated town of Clarks Hill, the township cannot help.
"By Indiana code the township is not able to do that [help with funding] unless the township owns that [the town]."
A call to Clarks Hill Town Board members was not returned. Beasley said he is uncertain if a funding answer will come soon, or if it will take another few decades.
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