Borough-eeze Spoken Here!

Council Gives Resident Rhetorical Response

Robert Ware was calm but direct as he approached Ford City Borough Council last night about Ford Cliff water run-off onto his 5th Avenue property.

Ford City Resident Robert Ware made his annual pilgrimage last night to the Ford City Borough Council public meeting to complain about the same issue that has been brought up for the past several years.

Storm water coming over the hill from Ford Cliff is landing in his 5th Avenue property and flooding his garage.

He was at the May 2017 council meeting. At that time, Councilman Tyson Klukan said that Ford City officials need to meet with Ford Cliff officials.

“I don’t know if they have a storm water management system plan. We will have to address that with our engineers,” Klukan said in May 2017.

Last night, Ware asked if anyone of the borough council members went to a meeting at Ford Cliff to inquire about the run-off. Carol President Carol Fenyes replied.

“No. The engineers are going to address that.”

In a phone call with the Kittanning Paper, Ford Cliff Mayor Lori Kijowski said she could not recall any formal meetings with Ford City council members or Gibson-Thomas engineers at their public meetings.

The remainder of the discussion with Ware resembled the proverbial “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” allegory. Ware was simply asking why Ford Cliff could be permitted to pipe their storm water over the side of the hill and Klukan responded with an overall storm water management overview that did little to answer Ware’s issue.

“Mr. Ware, this is a very complex storm water system,” Klukan began. “The first phase was $127,000 to check the infrastructure of our system underneath. The gullies are built into the infrastructure program. It’s going to be a costly infrastructure plan. We just met with the engineers three weeks ago. They did all their studies and their testing. They put out an initial plan. When we move forward with it, we will be having a public meeting about it.”

Klukan was referring to a $561,000 grant project that Ford City unveiled at last month’s meeting for sewer and water line replacement at various locations. Ford Cliff storm water run-off was not mentioned in that plan.

Ware continued to ask the same question as to why Ford City continues to permit Ford Cliff to empty their storm water into Ford City Borough.

“You have to give the gas company permission to come through our sidewalks. So somebody had to give (Ford Cliff) permission to drop that water over that hill,” Ware said, stating that he was 81-years-old and he couldn’t remember the exact date the issue began, but that it was “years and years ago.”

Following the meeting, Ware said it isn’t only the water run-off that concerns him, but that trees could be uprooted and come crashing into the roof of his home because of the water saturation during a significant storm.

Ford City Borough Manager Michael Greenlee said he has been monitoring the situation and that borough workers were checking and cleaning out catch basins following each storm to attempt to keep the water from backing up as it flows from the hill side.

Ware’s question was never answered. Perhaps progress will be made before he makes his next annual visit in 2019 to the borough meeting.

Robert Ware’s property on 5th Avenue in Ford City gets ravished by storm water from Ford Cliff. Ford City Council has their hands full with their own storm management issues. (KP 2017 File Photo)