Abilene prepares for new storm water master plan

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - When it rains in Abilene, it often pours, and that leads to the usual street flooding. In a special-called meeting, the City Council will hear about a new master plan for storm drainage that looks at some problem areas.

At this time, city staff isn't saying exactly what's being looked at, or how they chose which areas needed work, although they do say that there is a top ten list, along with an eleventh project that was identified. Another detail: water won't be moved from the streets to an underground drainage system.

Director of Public Works Michael Rice says that there was "some flooding in some houses last year." Rice says that no complaints led to this plan; he says that it's staff noticing areas that need to be dealt with.

Assistant City Manager James Childers says that it's a conversation that's been in the works for some time. "We've had big, broad, and quite frankly, tough conversations about our infrastructure, be it our streets, drainage system, or Convention Center. What it does is show you things in totality. We start working on plans for how we're going to address it."

Childers says that the city doesn't want these projects to be a burden on taxpayers. That means there's a limit to the money can be spent, an estimated $40 million. This is why water won't be leaving the streets any time soon.

Rice says that such a project could theoretically be undertaken, "but there's not enough money in Abilene to make that happen, so that doesn't make a lot of sense to say that's the direction we want to go."

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