Town ‘N Country: “Berm Complete: Flooding not in Forecast”
Town ‘N Country’s flood problem should improve now that the Town ‘N Country berm is up and working.
The $330,000 berm, which was completed two weeks ago, is about 4-feet high and made of dirt. It’s on the west side of Sweetwater Creek, across from the Hanley Street Canal and behind Town ‘N Country Elementary School.
The berm is designed to block water coming into Town ‘N Country from the West Tampa area. It also pumps water from Town ‘N Country over the berm and into lower Sweetwater Creek.
“So far it’s working, but we do have some minor adjustments that need to be made,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik. “But I want to emphasize that this is not a final solution. There will still be some local street flooding.”
According to Turanchik, the Town ‘N Country berm is just one step in a four-step process. The next step is a meeting planned this usmmer at Jackson Springs Park, where county officials will present area residents with three alternatives for long-term solutions to flooding. After that, county officials will begin designing and acquiring permits to create new retention to ponds and improve the ability of lower Sweetwater Creek to carry stormwater. “The problem is that there is some environmentally sensitive land in the area,” Turanchik said. “That’s what’s really holding us up.”
After the county decides on a suitable long-term solution, construction should begin in 1998, but it might be sooner.
Money for the Town ‘N Country berm comes from the 1991 Stormwater Utility Fee, which Hillsborough County taxpayers pay $12 into annually.
According to Turanchik, the berm is one of the first major projects that uses money from the fee.
“This is first real money that the county has put in Town ‘N Country’s flood problems in two decades,” he said.