Standing water was still visible Wednesday after the field north of the Norfolk Southern tracks in Claypool was suddenly flooded when the railroad company bored a new drain line under the tracks. The Louis Dreyfus Commodities facility can be seen in the background. Photo by Dan Spalding.
Standing water was still visible Wednesday after the field north of the Norfolk Southern tracks in Claypool was suddenly flooded when the railroad company bored a new drain line under the tracks. The Louis Dreyfus Commodities facility can be seen in the background. Photo by Dan Spalding.
CLAYPOOL – Kosciusko County will tap into a tax increment finance fund to cover the cost of fixing drainage problems affecting a residential area northeast of Louis Dreyfus Commodities in Claypool.
For years, drainage has been a problem north of the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, but problems had developed in recent years south of the tracks on property owned by Louis Dreyfus Commodities.
But the problem became more intense this spring south of the tracks and temporarily made worse Tuesday when the railroad company, working to remove blockage in an drain pipe under the tracks, bored a hole that caused property to the north of the tracks to quickly flood.
In some areas, the flooding was five feet above ground and it affected some residential properties.
Flooding soon began to subside, but county officials are moving now to remedy the problem affecting property north of the tracks.
On Tuesday, the county commissioners approved plans sought by the surveyor’s office to use TIF funds for the work.
The TIF district was created about 10 years ago when Louis Dreyfus constructed its massive soybean crushing and biodiesel plant along Ind. 15.
TIF districts are established to capture new tax revenues from new development and can be used for infrastructure projects and economic development projects within the district.
Surveyor Mike Kissinger said the flooding is not directly the result of the company.
The drainage problem involves “Nothing that they’re doing wrong. Just the nature of the beast,” Kissinger said.
Kissinger said the county may work with an engineer for the town of Claypool to develop an exact path of the underground drain tile. An existing tile runs across several residential properties. Kissinger said they prefer to have the new drain pipe run along streets instead.
He said the tentative cost is about $49,000, but that price will rise if the town’s engineer becomes involved.
The project represents the first time the county has used TIF money for a drainage project, he said.
As of Wednesday, flooding could still be seen north of the tracks and behind some of the houses that sit along the west side of Clay Street south of Section Street.
Some of the worst flooding is in the back yard of a empty house damaged by fire, Kissinger said.
The new line will run from the intersection of Section and Railroad streets and continue to the southwest to a point along the railroad line where the new boring was completed, Kissinger said.
Much of the new tile will have a 36-inch diameter, which is bigger than the previous tile, Kissinger said.
Plans will be presented to the redevelopment board soon for approval. Once that’s done, they’ll work on engineering and surveying.
Kissinger said the project could likely be completed this fall, but that remains tentative.