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Now that half of a project to improve stormwater drainage along Elm Drive just south of Arnold is under way, now it’s time to start gearing up for the rest of it.

The Jefferson County Public Works Department will hold a public hearing on Phase 2 of the project from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Seckman High School, 2800 Seckman Road, in Imperial.

Those attending the open house-style meeting can come and go during the two-hour period, view drawings and ask questions.

Public Works Director Jason Jonas said Phase 2 of the plan, which takes in Elm Drive from near Ron De Lee Drive eastward to about a quarter-mile away from the Arnold city limits, will mirror what’s been going on in Phase 1, which is taking in the area between Miller Road and Ron De Lee.

The first phase, which began this summer, has been delayed at times by weather concerns, Jonas said.

“We’ve had an extremely wet year in many ways, which has put us back, but when we’ve had good weather, we’ve made a lot of progress,” Jonas said. “Our goal is to get all of the structures in the ground before the ground freezes, and we can come back in the spring and complete curbing and gutters and items like that.”

Crews from the county’s Public Works Department will install curbs and gutters along Elm, with stormwater funneled into enclosed pipes installed on both sides of the street. That water will empty into a tributary of Rock Creek, he said.

“Elm Drive is fairly well built out, with most of the homes dating to the 1970s, and there was not a lot of attention paid to stormwater control. As a result, we hear from a lot of people who say when it rains, they get water in their garages, or through cracks in the foundations of their homes. This should alleviate a lot of those concerns.”

Jonas said because each phase will be done in-house, rather than having it contracted out, the county will save 30 percent to 40 percent over the $810,000 estimate to do the first phase.

The second phase, he said, which is roughly the same scale and length of the first, will likely cost about $500,000.

Money to pay for both phases will be drawn from Jefferson County’s share of a countywide 1/2-cent sales tax for road and bridge improvements.

Jonas said depending on land acquisition, work on the second phase could begin by fall 2020.

“It’s possible that it may be pushed into early 2021,” he said. “Weather also will be a factor.”

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