Village Council promises to address Lakeview Street flooding concerns at meeting on Monday

By Susan Carroll

Review Writer

Flooding on Lakeview Street was addressed by three residents during the Lake Orion Village Council meeting Monday, with President Ken Van Portfliet promising that the flooding issue would be resolved, in time.

Paul Widlak, a Lakeview Street property owner, addressed the council, saying he was advised that the flooding issue was not going to be on the agenda at a council meeting in June, yet there had been substantial discussion at the meeting.

Widlak suggested that the village reach out to engineering firms other than Hubbel Roth & Clark (HRC), the original road engineers, and that (HRC) are “complicit in the cause of these problems.”

He suggested the village seek a second opinion from a firm that has no relationship with HRC or the Village of Lake Orion.

The village currently has 39 known storm outfall locations leading into Lake Orion and Paint Creek, and two retention ponds. The Oakland County Water Resources Commission has seven outfalls, while the Michigan Dept. of Transportation has three.

Village Manager Joe Young said he is not aware of any problems with the storm drains.

There also was no debris or visible pollution during a Lake Orion Review visit to several of the outfalls on Monday after rains Sunday night and Monday morning.

Young said the village officials met with Widlak, his attorneys and engineers on Tuesday morning to further discuss the issue.

“It was a good, positive meeting,” said Young, noting village attorneys also were at the meeting. “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Widlak believes that an installation of a drywell system which would allow water to drain into the soil instead of being drawn out into the lake, is the best solution. “The lake of Lake Orion is a gem that we should all be proud of; we should not pollute it.”

Ralph Scolari, resident of Lakeview, said he has had problems with flooding since the purchase of his property in 1999. He cited village council meeting minutes dating back to 2000 addressing the flooding problems as he addressed the council.

Gary Peters, a Lake Orion resident, asked the council to “challenge your engineering firm,” when he spoke about the flooding.

Council President, Ken Van Portfliet said there is “a lot of misinformation being published” and “we’re not going to pump sewage into the lake.”

Van Portfliet added that, “I can assure you that there will be a resolve. Something will be done.”

In June, 46 residents signed a petition submitted to the village against proposed plans to run a pipe from Lakeview Street into Lake Orion, citing pollution concerns.

“That the difficulty right now… is that things are moving slow. The engineers are on it. The DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) is not a fast-moving machine.”

Van Portfliet said village officials also are looking at the newest technology, taking into account the budget and various options to come up with a satisfactory result, “and what’s really capable of being done over there, with the residents.”

He also said the village will hold a public hearing in the future to discuss the facts and get everyone’s input.

Also at the meeting:

The Dragon on the Lake festival special license and a special event permit for Brave the Wave 2017 were put on hold due to discrepancies on the application. The council also wanted a representative for the festival to attend the next meeting – 7:30 p.m. July 24 at Village Hall, 21 E. Church St. – to answer council questions.