Along the Chartiers Creek watershed, there’s only so much that any single municipality can do to reduce the floods that have proven to be a vexing problem over the years.
Now, officials in eight communities, including Bridgeville, hope that combining resources can make a lasting difference toward flood prevention.
Borough council voted unanimously last month to move toward joining the Robinson Run-Chartiers Creek Municipal Watershed Alliance, which would also include Collier, South Fayette, Oakdale, North Fayette, Robinson, McDonald, and Mount Pleasant.
These communities already work together in various capacities regarding flood-related issues, said borough solicitor Thomas McDermott. The new alliance would provide legal authority to combine equipment, services, and other resources.
The borough has experienced bureaucratic hurdles in the past when trying to address flooding, notes the Post-Gazette’s Bob Podurgiel:
After a flood occurred in July 2013, Bridgeville found that getting authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers to extend jurisdiction to tributaries such as McLaughlin Run is a long and complicated process. The borough concluded that a multi-community approach would be more effective.
“By working together, we can apply for grants and the Allegheny County Conservation District will help us,” [borough manger Lori] Collins said.
“The agreement will be nonbinding and there will be no fees involved. There might be one in the future, but a community can withdraw at any time,” she said.
Mayor Pat DeBlasio was initially concerned that the alliance might actually create another layer of bureaucracy, but he noted that the inclusion of Collier Township could be a benefit to communities in both the Robinson Run and Chartiers Creek watersheds.
“Collier joining really makes this a beautiful thing,” he said.
Photo: Flooding on a South Fayette street circa 2004.