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Indy DPW stormwater improvements alleviate decades long problem in Southside neighborhood

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-08 18:23:43-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Driving through the Sherman Park Drive neighborhood on Indy's southside it appears to be quaint.

Tucked away, between Beech Grove and the University of Indianapolis sits roughly 100 homes.

Several neighbors have lived here for decades, many in the childhood home they grew up in.

"I've been here all my life, a lot of people that I grew up with are still here," John Stobaugh said.

Stobaugh says he loves his neighborhood, fairly quiet with little issues.

Plus it helps that everybody appears to know everybody.

Just down the street, Gene Sears lives in the home he grew up in too.

"I've lived her for more than 50 years," Sears said.

The neighborhood's not the only thing that hasn't changed in decades.

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Neighbors say a flooding issue has been impacting this neighborhood since they can remember.

"It would rain, it would flood almost inside their house. So it's been bad for a while," Stobaugh said.

The flooding he says will linger, often times for days.

"It's like a lake sometimes down there," Stobaugh said.

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The lake he is referring to is actually flooding in his neighborhood.

Sears also remembers the water in his neighbors yards, though his analogy is slightly different.

"A pond back there behind the house that had ducks, I mean the water would come up to the back of her house," he said.

It's an issue that is now seeing some improvement.

Indy DPW just wrapped up a $3.38 million stormwater project in the south side neighborhood.

"This is part of our 5 year capital plan. There will be no direct impact on the stormwater rate payers or the stormwater fees," Indy DPW Director Brandon Herget said.

The project will help alleviate the flooding for the roughly 100 homes in that neighborhood.

"It's coming out of that stormwater fund. This is just another addition and another tool we have in the toolbox as it relates to the type of creative funding mechanisms we have been utilizing over the last few years," Herget said.

In total, five streets were fixed adding more than 4 miles of asphalt.

Some neighbors say they've already seen an improvement with standing water.

"You couldn't even go in your backyard before they done this because water would stand in backyard for days," Sears said.

The project is one of more than 40 stormwater projectsIndy DPW is doing this year.

Indy DPW is allocating more than $54 million dollars for stormwater improvements this year.