Lovejoy mayor looking into flood resolution

By Justin Boron

Lovejoy Mayor Joe Murphy said he will meet with engineers today to find out exactly how to resolve flooding problems in some of the town's new west side subdivisions.

Complaints of flooding had arisen earlier in the year but the problem hit its peak during summer storms that pummeled the Atlanta area in July with more than 14 inches of rain.

The southern part of Clayton County, including Lovejoy, were among the areas hit the worst, causing extensive damage to homes.

Some of the subdivisions affected by flooding are part of string of new housing tracts along Lovejoy Road.

Murphy said he is committed to getting the project going.

"We are going to get started on those ponds before the next council meeting in September," Murphy said.

The City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday Sept. 13.

Murphy said he expects the project to cost around $25,000, adding the number could fluctuate.

The plan is to join retention ponds between two subdivisions to form one large pool to collect discharge of water running off into the neighborhoods from surrounding land.

"As a city, we've been working on this since March, so you know we want to get this done," he said.

Much of the debate over the problem has centered around who - between builders, residents, and the city - should take responsibility for the flooding problem.

Councilman Bobby Cartwright said he was adamant that the city not take responsibility.

He also said that repairs to the retention ponds are not likely to resolve the problem.

"It's not going to affect the problem whatsoever," he said.

Instead, Cartwright suggests that the flooding's source is a line of privacy fences set up in a drainage ditch. He said they work like "mini-dams" to hold up the flow of storm water.

One issue few contest is that the homes in the subdivision have been hit hard by flooding.

"It's got into their house and it's caused mold," said Councilman Arlie Aukerman.

Cartwright warned that the problem would not be solved overnight.

"We've got to take one step at a time and see what happens next," he said.