TANbark Board Meeting

The Tan Board will hold it's first 2016 meeting on Monday, February 1, 2016, at 7:00 pm at the home of Pam Bridges.

All neighbors are invited to attend this and any future board meetings.

Elections will be held for the 2016 class of officers at this meeting.  

Tanbark Annual Meeting January 17, 2016

 Thank you so much to Tanbark Board and all our neighbors to attend annual Tanbark meeting.  It was absolutely wonderful.

Tanbark Storm Water Drainage Issue/Update Jan 17, 2016

HISTORY:  Tanbark Neighborhood is about 30 years old with a few homes older and a few homes newer.  Original developers for the five (5) separate subdivisions within Tanbark Neighborhood worked cooperatively with City/County officials to adequately and safely deal with storm water runoff, especially to minimize flooding related to our 140 homes, health care/nursing facility, church and Racquet Club apartments.

Over 2 miles of curb/gutter collects storm water that reaches the road and thanks to “gravity” the water flows down and into several cuts in the gutter that allow the water to then be conveyed underground through concrete pipes ranging from 12” to 24” in the Tanbark area.  The large majority of this collected storm water is then discharged through approximately a dozen outlet structures located in low laying ditches (or swales) engineered to then channel the water into ever larger underground pipes “out of Tanbark” and into local creeks/streams/rivers.

A goodly portion of these above ground drainage ditches/swales in Tanbark were lined with concrete, i.e. mostly those on the western half of Tanbark.  One of the major collection ditches/swales responsible for draining about one-third of our properties on the east side, i.e. 47 homes, lies between Crosby Rd. and the upper or back portion of Heartland Rd.  This drainage ditch, over 1,000 feet long, collects water draining north to south from the eastern portion of Tanbark (9 homes), all of Crosby (14 homes), upper Buttonwood Cr. (5 homes) and the back portion of Heartland Rd. (19 homes).  Approximately 26 homes likely have some of the “far back” yard associated with a storm water easement.

PROBLEM:  Some of the residents of Tanbark have added a few more wrinkles and a little “sagging” (for some of us) over the last 30 years.  Unfortunately, so has the collection ditch/swale just detailed above.  This collection area did NOT receive a concrete liner; rather an “Environ-net” was rolled out prior to sowing the area with grass seed similar to that used in our yards.  Unfortunately three major factors have played a role in today’s problem:

1)       “Lawn” grass seed establishes a root system that is quite shallow….2 to 3” and is therefore susceptible to being washed out during HEAVY rain events.

2)       Utility companies (electrical, cable, gas and telephone) have buried lines under this “more natural” ditch some 1,000 ft (North to South) and crossing under this area as well (East to West).  Over the past 30 years MANY “digs” have taken place to move/replace/repair/establish services to the homes on Crosby and Heartwood……each time allowing erosion to begin in a new area and for soils/debris to be washed down slope to the south. 

3)       As Tanbark has developed so have our lawns, gardens and trees…LOTS of trees with LOTS of leaves.  Unfortunately a goodly portion of this organic material ends up in our streets, then into the gutters, then into the underground collection system(s) which then discharges into our lower backyard(s) or those of our neighbors.  For this reason, most know that there is an ordinance prohibiting blowing grass/leaves other materials into the streets as the entire waste water collection system is compromised.

Specifically related to the “wrinkles/sagging” associated with this “more natural” collection ditch the leaves/grass and sand/dirt (from surface roads) have been deposited at the mouth of each of the five (5) outlet structures along this ditch.  The end result is the buildup of silt/sands/organics (like a small Mississippi Delta) for a distance beyond the discharge point(s).  Eventually a ponding effect begins as the silt levels increase.   The end result is what we have today:  1) ponding of water after rain events, areas of poor drainage (especially given the last 2-3 wet years), erosion and channeling of water moving “too fast” and unfortunately a “fine” area for mosquito development. 

SO WHAT TO DO??  One of our Crosby residents presented this problem at the Tanbark annual meeting last January.  He was certainly supported by those present that had property in the near vicinity of this drainage area given the observed increase in mosquito presence.

To solve a problem that directly impacts Tanbark residents we need the involvement and support of all of Tanbark.  The last several years have indicated Tanbark residents firmly support safety and environmental concerns.  We have had great success with street tree trimming for safety and better vehicle access.  We have installed dozens of water barrels that allow “natural water” for our plants, but also remove thousands of gallons of “storm water runoff” that doesn’t enter the storm water system.  And just this past year more than 1/3rd of our residents stepped up and repaired/replaced hundreds of concrete sidewalk sections that were a trip hazard for all.

THE PAST YEAR:  The Board feels progress has occurred on many fronts as we have established important contacts within LFUCG-Division of Water Quality: Charles Martin, Director Dept. of Environmental Quality & Public Works & Gregory Lubeck, Engineering Section Manager & Douglas Baldwin, Project Engineering Coordinator.  In addition, our 8th District Councilman, Fred Brown has attended meetings and been most helpful in “moving” things along.  A representative from Time Warner Cable has not only visited the area……he followed up with some remedial work that had long been ignored and we “think” we have a good contact for Windstream.  Now we feel we have the beginnings of a solution based on the following progress and next action(s):

·         January – Residents in the “ditch area” formally bring the issue to the TAN Board
·         Feb/March – Shoveled lots of snow and/or dealt w/ lots of rain…..i.e. not much progress
·         April – Many phone calls/emails attempting to contact to a positive pathway forward
·         April 28th – A “walk-around” with two employees from Streets/Roads (they indicated our best/fastest pathway was to involve our councilman, Fred Brown.
·         May 12th – Letter to Fred Brown (3 pages of history/problem along with 30 photos/exhibits copied to Albert Miller (Director Streets and Roads), David Holmes (Commissioner of Public Works) along with Windstream and Time Warner Cable
·         Late May – Brief meeting to review the problem, the area, maps and path forward with Brown, Charles Simms and Steve Whyte
·         June 15th – Formal review/walk around with Charles Simms, Brown and Martin plus Lubeck from Water Quality.  We felt they were listening and in fact provided information concerning possible grants for Tanbark as well as indicated they would be working on issues directly related to the five discharge points.
·         July 14th – Mr. Lubeck responded: 
o    The Incentive Grant applications which will be due in May 2016 are for Fiscal Year 2017 funds.  Fiscal Year 2017 will begin July 1, 2016, so if a successful application is made, the work could conceivably begin in late summer 2016.  The outlet pipes from the streets present a different issue.  Without the drainage swale between the backyards functioning properly, I feel anything done near those pipes would not be effective.  The water would not have a defined path to take to get away from those pipes, resulting in sediment build up in those areas again.  I’d like to propose hiring a consultant we have on an indefinite service contract to do some surveying in that area to map what the existing conditions are.  From that, I may be able to come up with some sort of solution.
·         Aug 8th – Time Warner Cable representative toured the area and pledged to “immediately” repair several issues we pointed out to him.  AND HE DID just that as several lines were buried & distribution boxes repaired.
·         September 1st – LFUCG kick off meeting related to necessary survey work
·         September 11th – LFUCG selected Bell Engineering and issued a “Notice to Proceed” within 70 days
·         November 19th – First Draft completed for LFUCG review.  Doug Baldwin appointed as project manager
·         December 5th – Second Draft completed
·         December 10th – LFUCG/Bell met to finalize report/issues
·         December 18th – Report issued to LFUCG and copied to TAN
·         January 12th – LFUCG + Bell Engineering + “some” of TAN Board + “some” TAN neighbors met to review/discuss the report, ask questions, etc.
·         January 17th – TAN Annual Meeting…………………In Summary = Decent Progress

NEXT STEPS:  Working together LFUCG/Bell Engineering and Tanbark are “hoping” and planning for construction/repairs late summer or early fall based on the following:

1)       Bell Engineering presented two options related to “fixing” the five outfalls within the ditch area to LFUCG.  Those present from TAN were pleased with the selected option (actually the more expensive option) with an estimated cost of $40,000 (100% LFUCG expense).  Use of concrete interlocking blocks will slow water, retain sediments and yet allow for relatively simply repair or addition of blocks in the future with very little expense.

2)       LFUCG would STRONGLY prefer to perform these “fixes” at the same time the 1,000’ plus drainage swell can be moderately re-graded to resolve “damning” issues and to fill in eroded channeling.  Of course we have tree roots, bushes, utility lines, etc. to deal with along with selecting the type of grasses/vegetative covers to re-install in the ditch area that will be much more resistant to erosion in the future.
a.       The elevation drop from north to south is almost 40 feet, i.e. a 3% grade to keep water flowing.  The LFUCG ‘fix’ related to the five outfalls will maintain at least a 2% grade away from the structure to prevent ponding.

3)       Updates on progress will be posted on the Tanblogspot as well as noted in emails and the newsletter.

4)       A TAN committee has been formed to provide input/oversight and to also contact/explain progress and issues to the approximate 26 property owners that might border on the storm water easement area.

5)       Next important date is submission of a grant proposal in mid-May to cover 80+ percent of repair work in the 1,000 foot drainage swale.

TANbark Board Meeting

Next Board Meeting will be October 6th beginning 7pm, located at 1117 Buttonwood Court.

Tanbark Book Club meeting

We are currently reading the book:  “Wanted: Good Family: A Novel” by Joseph G. Anthony.

The TAN Book Club's special meeting will be on Aug 25th at 7pm at the home of Mary Lou Carpenter -1177 Tanbark Rd.  Participating in this discussion we will be honored to have the author, Joseph G. Anthony with us.  Come enjoy an evening of good discussion, good eats and good friends!

Please come and join us if you love to read.