Heavy rainfall in the summer months can be stressful for some homeowners in Parma who worry about their properties flooding, but relief may be on the way to keep the water away.
The city just received a million-dollar grant to transition 70 homes prone to flooding from septic to sanitary service. But Parma homeowners like Tom Jindra who are burdened with basements full of water feel it is a case of too little too late.
"This should have happened 20 years ago,” Jindra said.
For more than two decades, Jindra has called Brookdale Avenue home.
"Once the fall hits, then you are kind of relieved until spring," Jindra said.
While worrying about basement flooding due to summer rains could soon be a thing of the past, getting there could mean a lot of money down the drain.
"The permit fees are ridiculous. They're almost two grand," Jindra said.
Jindra said he'll be on the hook for about $18,000 to connect his home to new sanitary sewers set to be installed by the city this fall.
"It's a lot of cash, and it's hard for everyday workers to come up with that kind of cash with everything else that's been going on," Jindra said.
The multimillion-dollar project is part of Parma's ongoing efforts to reduce headaches seen across the city during the summer months.
"Each year we get better and better," Parma mayor Tim DeGeeter said.
The Army Corps of Engineers just awarded Parma a $1 million grant for the sanitary sewer installation in Jindra’s neighborhood.
"This really helps go a long way and could possibly help reduce the assessments that are put on those homeowners when they have to make that conversion when this project goes," DeGeeter said.
DeGeeter said while the plan is to try and help offset costs for homeowners like Jindra, he's cautiously optimistic.
"With construction projects, there's unforeseen hiccups,” DeGeeter said.
The Brookdale/Broadview neighborhood project is just one of several that Parma is undertaking to try and tackle its flooding problem. The city is already in the process of rebuilding collapsing catch basins.
"We've replaced, last year, 140. I think we're doing another 140 this year," DeGeeter said.
In another flood-prone part of town, extra stormwater capacity was recently added.
"We've had some rainstorms, haven't heard from those residents over there, so we believe that is working,” DeGeeter said.
With 500 properties in Parma that still need to be connected to sanitary sewers, Degeeter said this funding boost is a big deal.
"This will be helpful where we can try and free up some money elsewhere, find some other capital improvements to attack these different hot spots we have in the city,” DeGeeter said.
Meanwhile, Jindra, who is bracing to pay big bucks to help keep his home dry, would like to see more of that grant money come his way.
"The government, in my opinion, is just taking that money and putting it in their own pocket and not helping us out. Where is our relief?” Jindra said.
Once the city installs the new sewer system, homeowners have six months to tie into the new line or face penalties.