Drainage Issue

Recent construction at the downtown United Bank of Union branch has changed the grading in the area and led to standing water on Cherry Street near Washington Avenue. To address the issue, the city and the bank are making plans to team up and build a storm sewer. The bank would pay for the materials and the city would provide the labor.  Missourian Photo/Joe Barker.

Drainage problems at Washington Avenue and Cherry Street will be addressed by a public/private partnership.

Union City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said the city has been approached by United Bank of Union about a collaboration to address standing water near the bank. At the September board meeting, aldermen backed the plan.

Zimmermann said the drainage problem is caused by the recent construction at the bank. United Bank of Union recently finished up work on an addition to its downtown branch.

The addition included a new basement and Zimmermann said the grade changes altered water runoff. He said the result is basically water “laying” on Cherry Street.

To address the issue, the bank requested a joint venture. Under the bank’s proposal, it would pay for the pipe and  materials while the city would provide the labor and street repairs.

The new sewer would provide a discharge point to connect two sump pump drains and a downspout.

Zimmermann said the project is necessary because there are no storm sewers in the area. Because Cherry Street is relatively flat, inaction would cause standing water.

In the summer, the water would have algae, he said. In the winter, Zimmermann said the water would likely turn to ice and lead to liability issues for the city.

Even without someone falling on the ice, Zimmermann said the standing water would lead to cracked pavement and, ultimately, failure of the street.

Zimmermann said a rough estimate would have the project costing less than $5,000. The work would be paid for out of the street maintenance budget.

Alderman Bob Marquart asked what the bank’s obligation is with the whole project. Zimmermann said there have always been water issues, but the recent construction made things worse.

Even with that, the water is on a city street and not bank property. Zimmermann said it’s a “sticky” area, but he said he feels the city should help address the problem.

Zimmermann pointed out the city recently did a public/private partnership earlier this year with the property at 800 N. Washington Ave. 

The city teamed up with the owner, North Union Projects LCC, to address an ice issue on the property located near Brown Street and the Northside Quickstop.

North Union Projects currently rents the property to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Standing water was causing ice issues so the city constructed a new drain and sewer line. The ice was not the result of anything the city had done, but it did face liability issues. The city agreed to work with the owners on the project.

The city paid for the labor while North Union Projects paid for the material. The project was wrapped up this spring.

Just like in that project, the bank work would create a new storm drain that hooks up to an existing storm sewer.

Under the proposal, “the city will extend a 12-inch storm sewer pipe from the southwest corner of East State Street to the southwest corner of Cherry Street and Jefferson Street.”

Zimmermann said the proposal should take care of the standing water issue. Aldermen backed the plan.

“If we gotta do it, we gotta do it,” Alderman Karen Erwin said. “We can’t have ice or algae.”

The board voted unanimously to have Zimmermann move forward with the project.