By Jared Ritz
A plan to subdivide land at the east end of 14th Street was approved by the Havre City Council Monday night, leaving some citizens worried that it may add to flooding problems.
Owner Tim Solomon, a former Hill County sheriff, plans to sell three of the four lots on the hilltop and build a house for himself on the fourth.
The subdivision plans also were endorsed by the City/County Planning Board and the City Council's streets and sidewalks committee.
Residents below the subdivision told the council Monday night that the area has drainage problems and that they fear the subdivision will worsen them.
Dave Williams, a railroad worker who lives at the corner of 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, said he's worried that flattening of the field and the laying of concrete and asphalt could cause rainwater to run down the hill.
"The biggest problem is water run-off," he said. "We have storm drains that don't handle the run-off now. What are we going to do with the extra run-off?"
City public works director Dave Peterson said he believes two retention ponds that are part of the project will take care of any runoff. One pond will be on Solomon's land, and maintinance and installation costs will be paid by him.
The other will be in the city park to the south of the subdivision. Mayor Bob Rice said today it hasn't been determined whether the city or the developer will pay for it.
Peterson also said the city plans to clean the drains in the 14th Street area to improve drainage.
"We are not going to add on to any problems that already exist up there," said Jay Springer, who designed the subdivision.
He added that the ponds may help improve draining in the area. He also said lawns in the development would retain more water than the field that's there.
Rice recommended that the council approve the subdivision.
"I have looked at every aspect of this project personally," he said. "It's going to bring some tax base to us."