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R OUNTREE N EIGHBORHOOD A SSOCIATION N EWS V OLUME 6, I SSUE 3

J UNE 2009

C HAIR ’ S C ORNER —B OB K EYES Many Rountree residents have experienced problems with water infiltration in our basements and crawl spaces. For some, the problem has been going on for years, for others it’s a new phenomenon or seems to be getting worse. What’s going on here? And, what can be done about it? Those are some of the questions the Rountree Neighborhood Association set out to answer when we conducted a neighborhood survey that’s been circulating since last fall. About 30 percent of occupied Rountree households answered the questionnaire. We’re currently compiling results and will share them with the neighborhood and the City this summer. Results will be posted on the RNA Web site soon. Check www.Rountreenews.org for updates. We hope the information will give the city good data and support our on-going request as a neighborhood for the city to consider making improvements to our old and perhaps inadequate storm water or sewer systems. At the same time, we realize home owners must do our part to keep our basements and homes dry. The survey is revealing that some of us with water problems do not have working sump pumps. As a board, we’re open to brainstorming all ideas that help us all protect our most valuable asset.

CHECK OUT THE RNA WEB SITE The Rountree Neighborhood Association Web site www.rountreenews.org has a new look. A big thanks to our Web Master, Lincoln Whisler, who lives in the neighborhood. The Web site is an important communication tool for the Rountree neighborhood. It’s also a work in progress. All suggestions are welcome.

NEXT RNA MEETING IS JUNE 22

The Rountree Neighborhood Association will hold its monthly board meeting on Monday, June 22, at Fire Station 1 on Grand Street near MSU. Tentative agenda:

1. Neighborhood survey 2. Back-toschool bash 3. Web site update 4. Proposed amendments to RNA bylaws


CITY OFFERS POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO WATER WOES Springfield Public Works Officials have been made well aware of the flooding problems some Rountree neighbors are experiencing in their homes. Public Works Director Marc Thornsberry and Street Maintenance Superintendent Steve Meyer recently told us they believe the rains have been more intense in recent years. In addition, our aging neighborhood sewer system, leaking residential connections and the possibility of sump pumps and downspouts being inappropriately connected to sewer piping create greater water flow than the system can handle. To determine if your house is at risk for water infiltration, check the elevation of the manhole lid ‘downhill’ from the house and compare it to the rim of the lowest plumbing fixture in your house. If the manhole is higher than any fixture, the home may be at risk. The city offered two possible solutions: One is to raise the lowest plumbing fixture ‘rim’ by extending a pipe one foot above the nearest ‘downhill’ manhole. This may require disconnecting or closing floor drains, removing fixtures and adding height to the ‘stand pipe’ at the washer. A second option, ‘overhead’ plumbing, eliminates basement plumbing directly connected to the sewer. This redirects plumbing from the main floor and above to a line at the highest elevation that can leave the house, but remain covered by the ground. Any remaining basement plumbing requires a lift station. The city allows residents to apply for grants or loans to install back flow prevention devices. This solution requires special maintenance and has not always been effective. The city may be willing to expand the current grant or loan program to include the other two options.

For more information, contact Jeff Barber—746 S Weller Ave, or 869-7944. TRAFFIC, PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS UNDERWAY

Rountree residents, take note of traffic and pedestrian improvements underway this summer on National Avenue and Grand Street. The city is adding dual turn lanes (northbound on National west to Grand, and eastbound on Grand north to National). In addition, pedestrians crossing at National and Grand will have better protection from traffic with improved “islands” in the middle of the intersection. The projects should be complete by the end of August. Longer term, the city wants to close the pedestrian crosswalk located about a half block north of National and Grand on National, and build a new overpass or underpass on National Avenue near Madison Street. It’s not been determined whether to build an overpass or an underpass and the project is not yet funded. Additional public input will be encouraged in the fall. Additional improvements will be made to the intersection and traffic signals at National Avenue and Cherry Street. Residents with questions or comments should call the city public works department at 864-1000.

It’s time for the annual Back to School Block Party. The party begins at 5 p.m. and is held in conjunction with Rountree Elementary School’s Meet Your Teacher Night.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH SET FOR AUGUST 20 Mark your calendars for Thursday, Aug. 20. That’s the night of the annual Rountree School Back-To-School night. RNA will host the block party on Belmont Street just north of the school. As always, we’ll grill hamburgers, hotdogs and brats, and are looking for party ideas (music, fun, food and games). Volunteers are needed. Please call or email Bob Keyes at 773-5175 or rvkeyes@mchsi.com if you’re able to help or have ideas for the party. Check

the RNA Web site for more info.

We’re on the web! www.rountreenews.org


June 2009 RNA Newsletter