Gahanna City Council is expected to approve plans for the second phase of a stormwater study at the Sycamore Run watershed.

Gahanna City Council is expected to approve plans for the second phase of a stormwater study at the Sycamore Run watershed.

Council on Monday gave a first reading of an ordinance giving city service director Terry Emery permission to enter a contract with URS Corp. of Ohio for professional engineering services. The company completed a study of the lower reaches of the watershed in 2007. The second phase would involve studying the remaining 720 acres of the upper reaches of the watershed.

The request is on the consent agenda, which council likely will approve when it meets Aug. 4.

The 2008 budget for the study is $50,000 and the proposed fee to complete the work is $42,500.

Emery told ThisWeek the initial phase included about 250 acres of the Sycamore Run watershed. He said results indicated that a few minor modifications could go a long way to reducing the stormwater flow.

"One of the things that we did was modified the storage capacity of the Foxboro detention basis," Emery said.

He said by making that modification, the city was able to hold storm water in the basin and decrease the rate at which the water was released into Sycamore Run.

"We have noticed, even in most recent rain events, an improvement in Sycamore Run," Emery said.

Emery said the city also installed a new storm sewer on Worman Drive to relieve localized flooding issues as a result of phase 1. He said improvements were made that weren't major cost items.

City engineer Karl Wetherholt said development along Sycamore Run has occurred over the basin.

"The earlier downstream section that was developed didn't have detention," he said.

For the upstream portion, detention was put in place that had a beneficial impact on the downstream portion. Through the watershed analysis the city could further refine detention facilities to help control flooding, Wetherholt said.

As a result of phase 1 improvements, the Hamilton Road basin will be constructed this year, Wetherholt said, and will divert a lot of the water and retain some of the peaks. Bond money was put aside for the project when the city passed the 2007 bond issue.

One significant change made as a result of the phase 1 study was the Foxboro basin, Wetherholt said. He said minor modifications were made that enabled the basin to hold back more water, resulting in less flooding during heavy rainfalls.

Emery said phase 2 would include evaluating the remaining 728 acres of Sycamore Run. He anticipates the study will be about a five-month process.

The city of Gahanna has a long-term plan to address stormwater issues throughout Gahanna, Emery said. Several different areas of the community have experienced the effects of stormwater runoff that sometimes approaches homes.

"We just ask for patience on part of the citizens in various areas to allow us to complete studies and incorporate recommends from the studies," Emery said.

The city established a stormwater utility fee in January 2005. Emery said Gahanna uses those funds for projects like the Sycamore Run phase 2 study.