Project to ease flooding in borough neighborhood

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Naugatuck earmarked for $1 million grant to address issue in Cherry Street area

A driver passes through the flooded intersection of Charles Street and Cherry Street Extension in Naugatuck after a heavy rain storm in 2012. The borough is earmarked to receive $1 million in state funds for a project to address flooding in the area. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ARCHIVES

NAUGATUCK — Officials have a path to alleviate storm water flooding in the Cherry Street area of the borough.

Naugatuck is earmarked to receive $1 million in state funds for a project to address flooding in the area of Cherry Street Extension and Charles Street during severe storms.

The borough was one 12 municipalities that received a total of $13 million from the Community Development Block Grant Small Cities program. The program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Eligible projects must be in a municipality with fewer than 50,000 residents and have a focus on improving neighborhoods and attracting economic development.

Borough Engineer Wayne Zirolli said flooding in the Cherry Street area during heavy rain has been an issue for more than a decade. Water flows from Hunters Mountain Road to behind Fairchild Park and through Pleasant Avenue, he said, then builds up around the intersection of Cherry Street Extension and Charles Street. The area has not been able to handle storm water and is a low point, which can lead to significant flooding, he said.

Zirolli said the plan includes upgrading a drainage basin in a wooded area behind Fairchild Park and a drainage swale in the Perock Lane and Lewis Street area near Hunters Mountain Road. The project, he said, aims to improve the upper watershed and make a larger detention basin with an outlet to let out water more efficiently.

“This is an effort to detain the storm water and the upper part of the watershed and meter it out so that you can keep the storm water flows in the Cherry and Charles Street area to reduce or eliminate flooding,” Zirolli said.

Zirolli said he has drawn up preliminary designs for the work. Officials plan to go out to bid for the project in the spring, he said, and possibly start work in the early summer.

The borough has budgeted about $500,000 for the drainage work, Zirolli said. Any additional funds left over from the grant will be used to improve the infrastructure in the Cherry Street and Charles Street area.

“This will go a long way,” Zirolli said.