Saturday, July 17, 2004

Polk Run Creek still a problem for area residents

New consortium to address flooding

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

MONTGOMERY - Residents in six municipalities across Hamilton and Warren counties are looking to a new local consortium for answers to flooding caused by the Polk Run Creek.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told some 60 people Thursday night that a study of the area revealed "damages appear to be localized and compounded by excess development" and therefore, federal money could not be spent on a solution.

Residents are now looking toward the newly formed Polk Run Consortium, an organization made up of representatives from Symmes Township, Deerfield Township, Sycamore Township, Montgomery, and Hamilton County, for help.

Phil Hautzenroeder, a 14-year resident of Terwilliger's Run in Montgomery, said the creation of the consortium is a step in the right direction.

"At least it shows that they understand the concern of the property owners in that area," he said. "The question then becomes: Are they really going to do something about it?"

Symmes Township Administrator Gerald Beckman, head of the consortium, said various governmental bodies are working with the group. Deerfield Township has formed a Storm Water District which will work with the consortium. Sycamore Township purchased green space at the head of the Polk Run Watershed that may be used to slow runoff.

And, a representative of the Hamilton County Engineer's Office will work with the county's Soil and Water Department to research possible measures.

"Residents and citizens, they don't want to hear that you can't, they want to see you try. So we're moving, in the sense that we are trying something," Beckman said. "(If you try) you never know where it will take you."

In July 2001, up to 10 inches of rain fell across Greater Cincinnati causing Polk Run to flood.

The result was $10 million in damages, and three people were killed.

"I leave feeling that anything they do is going to take a very long time and is not going to impact anything immediately," said Ken Bryant, of Symmes Township, after the meeting.

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