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City paying for upgrade of retention pond due to inspection oversight

By Bayne Hughes ∑ 340-2432

PRICEVILLE — An inspection oversight is forcing the city of Decatur to upgrade The Crossings shopping centerís retention pond.

Steve Walden of the cityís Public Works Department got permission from the Morgan County Board of Education on Tuesday night to access the pond from the school systemís central office property on Alabama 67 and to add an access gate to its fence. The board was meeting at Priceville High School.

Rock wall no good

The city required developers to build a retention pond for the new shopping center, in which Target is the largest store, because of flooding concerns as buildings and parking lots replaced trees and grass on the 26-acre property.

Walden said the contractor built a rock wall as a filter bed to slow and spread the water around adjoining properties and to more naturally disperse rainwater. He said the inspector should have insisted that the contractor use concrete instead of rock.

Because it was the cityís inspection oversight, the city now is taking on the expense of upgrading the wall.

Cost unknown

Walden said he didnít know how much this oversight would cost the city. City employees will do most of the work, which includes building a 3-foot-high wall with various pipes to allow the water to slowly weep onto adjoining properties. He said they would also have to remove a small area of trees.

The city will have to hire a fence company to add a $1,200 gate to the fence on the Morgan County Schools central office property.

Walden said the city would repair any damage heavy trucks might do to school board property, although he doubted that would be necessary.

He also said the school system would keep the key to the gate locks, and the city would seek permission whenever it needed access.

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