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City will manage own water runoff

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By John Foster

The Pewee Valley city council thinks they can manage water runoff in their city better than the county can, so Monday night they voted to create their own storm water district.

The city agreed to a contract with Stantec Consulting Services to help them meet Environmental Protection Agency mandated guidelines for runoff water quality. County Judge-Executive Duane Murner said this separates them from the county-wide effort. It does not separate them from their responsibilities in addressing the notice of violation the county storm water district is currently dealing with, he said.

“The county’s been doing they best they can do,” Mayor Bob Rogers said. “I just think under the circumstances we can do it for less money.”

Rogers noted that Pewee does not have any parking lots or a heavy amount of construction — two chief culprits in storm water pollution — meaning they will have fewer needs for their program. And after initial costs, it should be much cheaper for Pewee residents, he said.

Council member Dick Filippini has long been critical of county government’s use of funds, and storm water management is no exception.

“We can spend the money better than the county can,” he said.

The money they agreed to was not to exceed $50,000.

Stantec water resource engineer John Maleug said the money will go toward two tasks — designing and implementing a strategy; and figuring out the best way to pay for it.

To meet EPA requirements, the city and consulting firm will have to design a strategy for educating the public about water quality, identifying illegal discharges into water, and a strategy for managing runoff during and after construction.

He said ideally the city will be able to manage the plan on their own, but they may decide it’s necessary for the engineering firm to help oversee the program in upcoming years.

He said much of their task is to determine how Pewee’s program will look different than Louisville’s or Oldham County’s.

“And it will,” he said.

Murner said the county let Stantec go about a year ago, because they did not address the nuts and bolts — specific, immediate concerns of the county. Instead they focused more on a theoretical level, he said.

He said he still has high regard for the firm and for Maleug specifically.

E-mail us about this story at: jfoster@oldhamera.com.