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AVALON - In response to a question from a property owner at the Jan. 8 Avalon Borough Council meeting, Borough Engineer Thomas Thornton provided an update on the flood mitigation project in the north end, and outlined the next steps.

In fall 2018, Avalon committed to the multimillion-dollar drainage project. At the time, Thornton explained that it would be a “big and complex project.”

The north end of Avalon is sometimes referred to as "the bowl," because its contours make it difficult for standing water, after a major rainstorm, to find a natural drainage point. The existing stormwater pump and drainage system are no longer able to keep up with more frequent and severe rain events.

The first conceptual design for the drainage improvements suggested a $10 million project. Subsequent design work, presented to the council in October 2019, expanded the use of gravity systems, eliminated one of the two existing pump stations and held the promise of reducing the burden on taxpayers.

Thornton explained that preliminary talks have begun with permit agencies and that, pending borough approval of the funds, the next step would involve the detailed design, a task that could take much of 2020, he added.

Council President Nancy Hudanich pointed out that there has been no delay in the project to date. “We have been seeking the best approach and the best technology” for a large and important undertaking, she said.

A schedule for completion of the project would be released to the public after the design is completed.

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