The city of Union hopes to make progress on a joint project with the United Bank of Union to address a water issue as soon as this week.

In September, the city and bank discussed teaming up to fix an issue with standing water along Cherry Street near the downtown bank branch. The goal was to get the water off the streets before the winter to prevent it from becoming icy and an issue for pedestrians and cars.

To address the issue, the city and bank agreed to a plan to create a new storm sewer. 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.

Work has yet to start on the project, but City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said that should change soon.

Zimmermann said the bank had agreed to purchase the pipe, but hasn’t done so. He said the bank expressed concern with buying the wrong size pipe.

Zimmermann said the city can’t just go out and buy the pipe. Because of the cost involved, the city would be required to bid out the project in order to purchase the pipe, he said.

To address this, Zimmermann said the city is going to assist the bank with the purchase. He said the goal is to have it purchased by the end of the week.

Once the pipe comes in, Zimmermann estimated work would take a week and a half. He said the goal is to have it done by the end of the month.

Project Background

Zimmermann told aldermen in September the drainage problem was 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.

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.

Earlier this year, the city did a public/private partnership with the property at 800 N. Washington Ave. to address a similar issue. The city teamed up with the owner, North Union Projects LCC, to address an ice issue caused by standing water 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).

The city constructed a new drain and sewer line to give the standing water a place to go. Like with the bank project, the water issue was not the result of anything the city had done, but it did face liability issues for any incidents caused by the water on city right of way.

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 unanimously backed the plan.