TYLER, TX (KLTV) - One of the more pertinent Tyler City Council agenda items Wednesday dealt with the city's Comprehensive Storm Water Master Plan.
The city will enter into a $500k contract with the firm Halff Associates to continue their work identifying problem areas in the city's drainage infrastructure.
"Next week will actually be the second fiscal year of the program," City Project Engineer Kyle Dykes said. "The comprehensive plan will help us complete our inventory network."
That inventory network is a prioritized list of problem drainage sites around the city. The city surveys the amount of water that passes through specific drainage channels, and determines whether those channels are large enough to handle them.
"So we know which ones are undersized, which ones need to be improved, and which ones are in good shape," Dykes said.
It also identifies other problems, like condition of the infrastructure.
One of the problem sites the city has been actively addressing is a drainage channel that directs water coming from the Green Acres shopping area toward Lake Tyler East. It passes through a southeast Tyler neighborhood, where it's overgrown with vegetation and gone into disrepair.
"Our backyards are falling apart because of it," resident Steve Callaway said.
Callaway has lived in the area since 1973. He says mosquitoes are a big problem because of continually standing water in the culvert that runs beneath Courtney Drive. He also says erosion is encroaching on their backyards.
"There's only cement about 40 yards through the channel," he said. "From there on it's just dirt."
The channel runs behind his back yard and passes several other homes on its way toward Miller Drive. When it reaches Miller, it sometimes causes problems for resident Jim Motes too.
"I've replaced my carpet and flooring before when this thing floods," he said.
Both of the residents say they've tried to get the city to address the problem for years. When KLTV 7 reached out, we learned the city is actually nearing the bidding process for construction.
Dykes says the city is working on one more easement, then modifying the design they already have drafted. Dykes says the modified design must be approved again by the Army Corps of Engineers, then it will likely go out to bid in January. According to the city, the project is already funded in full.
"At the end of the day we want to know where homes are flooding, where roadways are being topped, jeopardizing the safety of the public," Dykes said. "We want to prioritize those projects so we can improve them."
And with this inventory continuing into its second year, the city says it plans to do exactly that.