There was an article in the Gazette the other day that these students for the Smith Engineering Department had recently developed a plan for the DPW for these two “green” type detention rain garden type deals. Great. I’d feel better about this if Ned Huntley, director of the Department of Public Works, hadn’t shown me this 2006 study, done seven years ago, that the Engineering Department at Smith College had done for them on the feasibility of putting in a detention pond on Smith Vocational land to catch flood flows on Brougham Brook upstream, and keep it from flooding a big area near the high school in ten year storms. Their estimates of cost for the detention pond was a measly $100,000. It was a terrific idea, but the study just went into the file and stayed there.
Flood control projects and the maintenance of our storm water system seems to been at the bottom of the priority list for the Department of Public Works for some time. Instead of attending to the small stuff, the DPW hires CDM(Camp Dresser and McKee) a big consulting firm to study the problem and propose fixes. Total price tag for the fixes, almost $100 million. Click here to read the full article.