Pinehurst puts citizens first in drainage issues

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


When it rains, ditches rise.

Keeping the water flowing is an ongoing priority for the City of Pinehurst.

Pinehurst Public Works John Toney said there are steps to correcting an issue, the first step is to notify the city when a problem arises.

“When we get calls with concerns, we will go out and assess the area,” Toney said. “Then we have to call 811 Dig so the lines can be located.”

It may take two – three days for the lines to be located before further work is seen at the location of the concern.

Recently the city has completed work in he 33rd Street and Pelican area and is now in the area of Lark Street and Herring.

“We have quartered off the city into four sections,” City Administrator Robbie Hood said. “We are working expeditiously to address immediate issues while working on long term solutions.”

While Pinehurst Public Works has multiple tasks, drainage remains a number one priority, even prior to the flooding event known as Hurricane Harvey.

“Currently we ate working on two funding sources for long term solutions,” Hood said. “One is a TD EM (Texas Department of Emergency Management] for drainage concerns which would replace undersized culverts and to deepen and widen areas to increase water flow expediently.”

A second source is through the Texas General Land Office and would be administered through South East Texas Regional Planning Commission (SETRPC).

“SETRPC Executive Director Shaun Davis and the staff have done a great job being an allocation source for the tri-county area.” Hood said.

SETRPC covers the Jefferson, Hardin and Orange Counties.

“Without a doubt, when you look at the jurisdictions in Orange County, along with the Orange County Drainage District, have had a great working relationship for years,” Hood said. “Drainage issues have been ongoing for years and did not happen overnight.”

It is also a concern the city as well as other entities in Orange County have continued to address and understand will always be an ongoing concern because it is not a ‘fix and forget’ type project.

“A working relationship consists of property expertise, and tried and true knowledge in drainage concerns,” Hood added. “It is not just man power and equipment.”

A recent meeting called to address drainage issues implied entities were not working together.

“I do believe entities work well together when citizens concerns are addressed by the entities working together to help each other, “ Hood said. “It not always ‘I need your help, come do this.’ It is ‘What can we do to help you help us?’ This rings true for all jurisdictions in Orange County.”

City Managers within the county meet once a month to discuss issues all are facing.

“We work together to find solutions, both short and long term,” Hood said. “The Drainage District is instrumental in knowledge to all the cities.”

For the city of Pinehurst, Hood said the city will continue to work together to move Pinehurst forward.

“And to help make Orange County the jewel of the Golden Triangle,” Hood said.

Any concerns of drainage issues within Pinehurst, call City Hall at 409-886-3873.

“We are happy to address any concerns,” Hood said.