Douglas County Commission to consider new stormwater management standards for northern county watershed

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World File Photo

The Douglas County Courthouse is pictured in September 2018.

Douglas County could soon establish new water drainage standards for a watershed in the northern part of the county, which would affect future development projects in the area.

The County Commission on Wednesday will review a proposed set of stormwater management standards for the Maple Grove watershed, which is in Grant Township. The commissioners will then consider setting a public hearing on Nov. 18 for the possible adoption of the standards.

The proposed standards outline development plan requirements related to water drainage to help alleviate flooding issues in the area. The County Commission asked staff to work on developing formal standards when it was considering a site plan for Sod Shop, a sod and stone business, to construct a 35,000-square-foot agricultural and office building in the area.

When the commissioners considered the plan in August, the Douglas County Kaw Drainage District noted water drainage concerns in the area. Chad Voigt, county engineer, told the commissioners at the time he thought the county needed new standards to ensure development in the area does not increase those drainage issues.

The proposed standards call for future development projects to include one or more stormwater storage basins to hold and retain water runoff from severe storms. They also call for either making sure runoff water infiltrates into the ground within 96 hours or including an outlet for emptying the stormwater storage basins in 72 hours, among other standards. A full list of the standards can be found in the meeting agenda on the county’s website,

In other business, the commissioners will meet for a work session for an update on the county’s effort to establish the newly formed Consolidated Fire District No. 1.

The new fire district, a consolidation of several township fire departments and rural fire districts that will serve a majority of the county’s rural areas, is scheduled to begin operating on Jan. 1. According to a memo to the commissioners, county staff, the fire departments and rural fire districts have been working to sort out the organization and operational structure of the new district, among other matters.

The County Commission will convene Wednesday at 4 p.m. for the work session and 5:30 p.m. for its regular business meeting. The meeting will be open to the walk-in public at the county courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., but a link for the public to watch live online is available on the county’s website, Residents may also call in and listen by phone by dialing 1-312-626-6799 and entering meeting ID 961 7058 4222.

Full audio from the meeting will continue to be posted on the county’s website, as usual. The meeting’s full agenda may also be found on the county’s website.

Contact Dylan Lysen

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