What's going to solve Columbia's decades long battle with floodi - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

What's going to solve Columbia's decades long battle with flooding? $93 million in fees, city leaders say

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)

The City of Columbia has long struggled with chronic flooding in Five Points and in areas on or around the University of South Carolina campus.

Efforts to relieve if not eliminate those problems have not been entirely effective, city officials admit, because they required a far more comprehensive and expensive plan.

That plan is now being rolled out, bankrolled by city leaders’ approval earlier this summer of $93 million in stormwater projects.

One of the first projects getting underway targets drainage issues around Martin Luther King Park and the Lower Waverly community.

The city’s utilities department has identified three possible water detention sites, one of them in the park. Two others are located in neighborhoods a couple of blocks south of Millwood Avenue.

Utilities Director Joey Jaco says previous projects have helped, but he says spot fixes often result in moving the problem to another area nearby.

“What we have here is we have a 5-year, $93 million plan,” Jaco said. “The effect will be greater."

The projects will be paid for with a fee hike that will raise average city homeowner bills by $5 a month.

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