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Work to solve flooding problem in community

Fayette Township employees and Heffner Excavating work on the new drain line along Cedar Street in Burlington.

BURLINGTON — A collaborative effort between the public and private sectors is solving a decades-old problem in the community of Burlington.

This week the Fayette Township Trustees provided the equipment and labor to correct chronic flooding on First Avenue between Division and Cedar streets. They teamed up with Rick Viglianco, a Lawrence County businessman, and the Lawrence County Commissioners.

“It has been terrible,” Fayette Trustee Mike Finley said. “This has been a sore spot for 12 to 15 years.”

Flooding has plagued the community for years and in the late 1990s the first efforts were made to correct drainage in the area.

“This is the worst place left,” Finley said. “Children could have drown in that.”

Water can rise up to eight feet in the First Avenue area, he said.

The commissioners provided the gravel and Viglianco supplied the 360 feet of 18-inch pipe to drain out the area, where he plans a construction project.

“I am going to put in apartments in an area adjacent to where this drainage is,” Viglianco said.

“My property runs adjacent to where this drain is.”

The businessman is planning to put up two duplexes there.

“I want to start in the spring when the weather gets halfway decent,” he said.

He expects the apartments to be finished in the fall.

On Tuesday Finley went to the commissioners’ work session to ask if the county could add to its contribution by paying for paving the road after the project is over. However the commission only said it would look into the possibility of helping.

“We will try, but I can’t promise,” Commission President Bill Pratt said. “We don’t have any extra in our budget.”

Work on the drain is expected to be completed by Friday.