Shelby announces partnership with county to fix storm drains

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 4, 2017

 Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller discusses her department’s new drain program with Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis at the recently restored Lawson Drain, located behind Eisenhower High School.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller discusses her department’s new drain program with Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis at the recently restored Lawson Drain, located behind Eisenhower High School.

Photo provided by Brad Bates

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Nov. 21, Shelby Township announced a partnership with Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller to clear out storm drains that have not been maintained for decades, according to Miller.

At press time, crews had restored two clogged storm drains identified by Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis for a total cost to be split evenly between the township and the county, with township taxpayers footing less than $8,000 of the bill, according to a township press release.

Miller said she started a “very comprehensive and very aggressive drain maintenance program” all over Macomb County, but particularly in northern Macomb County, in a video taped by Shelby TV.

“Unfortunately, this time of year and in the spring, when it rains, the rains are heavier in Shelby Township, and these drains can flood and result in significant hardship for surrounding properties,” Stathakis said at a Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting. “Most storm drains in the township, which resemble small creeks, have not been receiving routine maintenance.”

Last week, county crews cleared out a 1,500-foot portion of the Lawson Drain, which runs south of Eisenhower High School, he said. Before that, he said they cleared out portions of the Dunn Drain, located between 21 Mile and 22 Mile roads, east and west of the M-53 expressway, last year.

“Commissioner Miller has plans to clear out a portion of the Wilcox Drain, near 21 Mile Road and the M-53 expressway, next week,” he said Nov. 21.

In the Shelby TV video, Miller and Stathakis stand beside the recently resuscitated drain behind Eisenhower High School. The drain, which formerly flooded the area near the high school, appears as a trickling stream with reinforced banks.

“These drains are just not draining. They’re not doing what they need to do, and when that happens, there’s all kinds of road flooding that happens,” Miller said in the video. “Property damage can occur, particularly to people’s foundations of their homes, etc.”

By beginning the 50-50 match program, Miller said the county will help communities interested in reducing floodwater and helping rainwater filter naturally through storm drains.

“It was a heavily wooded area. We weren’t quite sure where the drain was when we came out to look at it,” she said. “The whole configuration of (the Lawson Drain) was changed for whatever reason and was running alongside a roadside ditch, flooding the neighborhood.”

Miller, who has hundreds of drains in her jurisdiction, said she is in the business of cleaning out drains for the community.

“As we do this, we stabilize the soil and improve water quality,” she said.

To report a flooded storm drain, call the Shelby Township Supervisor’s Office at (586) 731-5154.