Park Commission Updated on Stormwater Project

Three Ann Arbor parks – Eisenhower, Churchill Downs and Lawton – will likely be part of a broad stormwater management project for Upper Malletts Creek. Members of the city’s park advisory commission were briefed on project at their Oct. 15, 2013 meeting.

The Upper Malletts Stormwater Conveyance Study, which is overseen by the Washtenaw County office of the water resources commissioner, has identified three major projects to help manage stormwater and control flooding on the city’s southwest side. Two of those projects would affect local parks:

  • Building two stormwater detention basins along the north and south ends of Eisenhower and Churchill Downs parks, which are connected. These basins – covering about 2.5 acres – would help manage the stormwater flow from the north along Scio Church Road and from the drainage area west of I-94. (Eisenhower Park is located along I-94, just south of Scio Church Road. Churchill Downs Park is a 1.18-acre neighborhood park located between a residential area and I-94.) Estimated cost: $1.7 million.
  • Building a large underground detention basin at the north end of Lawton Park, which is located on Mershon between Delaware and Scio Church. The basin would manage storm flows from both north and south of Scio Church. Existing park amenities – including the baseball/softball diamond – would be replaced and upgraded. Estimated cost: $4.125 million

A third project, which would not involve a city park, entails building a detention basin north of Scio Church Road and east of Seventh Street, on property south of Pioneer High School. That piece would cost an estimated $1 million and cover about 2.8 acres.

Harry Sheehan, environmental manager with the Washtenaw County office of the water resources commissioner, made a presentation to park commissioners on Oct. 15 and answered questions about the project, which is still in the planning phase.

The overall project would require city council approval, and it’s not yet clear when a proposal will be brought forward. Colin Smith, the city’s parks and recreation manager, characterized Sheehan’s presentation to PAC as informational, given the potential impact on some parks.

For additional background on stormwater management in this area, as well as related issues, see Chronicle coverage: “Sidewalks: Repair, Build, Shovel.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers at city hall, where PAC holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]