Flood relief depends on development, officials say
Upper Macungie can’t fix the problem, area residents told.
The periodic flooding that has plagued Church Street in Fogelsville will not end until nearby farmland is developed, Upper Macungie Township officials said Thursday.
Supervisors Chairman James Brunell told residents who live between Church and Main streets near St. John’s Lutheran Church and St. John’s UCC Church that stormwater overwhelms a faulty pipe beneath an alley that is on private property and not maintained by the township.
Brunell said engineers recently visited the site and determined that increasing the flow would cause the pipe to breach.
Brunell also said that replacing the pipe with a larger one would require the permission of residents residing downstream from the problem area.
Brunell said the problem will only be solved when a 30-acre parcel of farmland north of the area owned by David Jaindl is eventually developed. At that point, stormwater controls will be mandated by the state.
“I don’t think [the township is] going to solve that problem,” he said.
There is no land development plan submitted to the township for the parcel, Planning and Zoning Director Daren Martocci said.
He said the storm sewer infrastructure installed many years ago beneath the alley, which runs from Church to Main streets between residential homes, would be the responsibility of the homeowners to fix.
“We don’t plow it and we don’t maintain it,” he said.
Kevin Duffy is a freelance writer.