May rains cause damage at Saluda School Park

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

City partners with Polk County Schools to repair storm damage

SALUDA — The city of Saluda and Polk County Schools recently partnered to pay for damages done to the Saluda School Park following heavy rains in May.

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday night and approved a budget amendment to pay for the labor of the repairs. The city and school have an agreement on expenses at the school park, where the city pays for and does the labor, and the school pays for the materials.

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The city paid $2,048 of the labor, and the school system will reimburse the city $2,602, for a total repair cost of $4,650.

City Manager Jonathan Cannon explained that heavy rainfall in May caused extensive damage throughout Polk County, and Saluda School Park received damage to drainage structures used to convey both creek and storm drainage under the ball field and walking path.

“City staff worked with Polk County Schools to make repairs to the structures,” Cannon said. “City staff provided the labor, and the school system will be reimbursing the material expense.”

Cannon said a stream runs under the ball field. During the May storms, the walking trail collapsed into the stream.

He said there was also a drainage structure that had already begun to settle and sink, which is right beside the walking trail for students.

Cannon said he found out children would get in the structure during hide-and-seek.

The city took the old structure out, which was made of mixed materials, including hand-stacked stone, brick and cinder blocks.

“The structure was located directly adjoining the walking path where school children and park visitors regularly play, walk and run,” Cannon said.

While working on the basin, city staff discovered the water that flowed into the basin exited through a corrugated metal pipe, which flows perpendicular and underneath U.S. 176, Cannon said. Failure of the structure could have resulted in failure of the fill slope of the highway, Cannon said.

The city added a corrugated metal pipe and band to extend the pipe, which is perpendicular to and underneath U.S. 176, as well as a new basin.

The city also added a drop inlet and small concrete block wall. Cannon said the wall reduces dirt washing into the structure and is a convenient seat for people walking the path.