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Watershed board approves permit for school project

The Buffalo Creek Watershed Board approved a permit for the Glencoe-Silver Lake School District and continued to discuss one for the city at its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 23.
After a meeting between the city of Glencoe’s Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH) Engineer Justin Black, the school district’s engineer David Rey of Anderson Johnson and the Buffalo Creek Watershed Engineer Chris Otterness talked about a combined permit from the city and school for the Northeast Drainage project, Otterness recommended the city and school permits be considered separately.
Otterness said the school’s permit for its upcoming expansion project met the board’s requirements. On its own, he said the project can drain into the school’s existing ponds. Otterness said the intent is for the project to use the proposed city outlet if it’s approved.
“It would make sense just to hook it up, get it out,” Otterness said.
Otterness recommended approval and the board accepted the permit for the school.
Then Otterness moved on to a review of the permit for the city’s proposed Northeast Drainage project. The project would be an outlet pipe from the GSL High School east to the East Ditch. The permit also included an additional outlet underneath the railroad, a 30-inch pipe added to the current 48-inch pipe.
Otterness reviewed the permit and how it will fit into the technical guidelines of the Buffalo Creek Watershed.
“My perspective is solely from the engineering perspective and it doesn’t relate to policy and it doesn’t relate to any of the legal ramifications,” he said. “That’s left to others to discuss.”
The main concerns for him, Otterness said, are: compliance with rate control requirements, change to storage volume, potential for damage downstream, potential for damage upstream and the swellhead at the railroad culvert and the potential for loss of flood storage there.
If the proposed project was constructed, Otterness explained that under low flow the drainage system would continue to operate the same. The access to the north ponds by the high school are gated and can be closed to allow pipes in the city to drain. At low flow, the gate would remain open and there would be no changes from current.

For more, see the March 2 print edition of The Chronicle.