When was Eyre Park overgrown with weeds and debris? That’s what Chester Deputy Mayor William Morgan was quoted as saying in today’s Delaware County Daily Times at the unveiling of the new Eyre Park trail. 

If high grass equals weeds, the new trail is flanked with high grass that’s about to consume the beautiful new benches beside the beautiful new trail from what I saw when I was there on Saturday. I would have been there on Thursday for the unveiling, but I didn’t get the memo. 

In another ‘rabbit out of the hat’ unveiling from the folks running Chester City, today’s article finally helped me put one & one together after a couple attempts to find out why the golf driving range was being replaced by a walking/biking path/trail. I found the trail while biking earlier this summer. 

Thanks to the Daily Times we all now know the trail is part of a Chester Stormwater Management project. However, on page 70 of the Chester Receiver’s Recovery Plan, they mentioned the proposed trail referenced by the Temple University Community and Regional Planning Department in 2012. Chester Stormwater Authority was formed about 2-years ago. Go figure. 

Chester Stormwater Authority remains the most misunderstood entity in the city and this project only adds to the confusion. When people think about stormwater management, we think of flood prevention, not parks and recreation. Don’t get me wrong, we love a nice park, but park improvements don’t seem like the right first priority when you’re spending stormwater money.

I remember looking to buy a house in Chester and 9 out of 10 homes had wet basements. I doubt if that’s changed much in 14-years. I’m sure home owners could benefit greatly with some help putting in sump pumps and French drains.

Unless someone can tell me how many fewer wet basements Chester has thanks to a rain garden/bioretention basin in Memorial Park and Eyre Park, maybe I’ll change my mind on how stormwater spends money. 

And then there’s Executive Director Rev. Horace Strand bragging about all the vehicles they’ve purchased…

Strand noted the $1 million fleet of vehicles acquired that will continue to service the inlets in Chester.

I know that’s gotta be a mistake. I’ve seen a few of their new pickup trucks around town and even if they cost $50,000, he’d have a fleet of 20 new trucks. Seems a bit much but maybe he does. I don’t think any of the trucks were purchased at Chester’s Murphy Ford. Correct me if I wrong. Or, maybe I shouldn’t expect Chester to support their own. 

And Strand praises the people they hired with vac trucks who sucked up flood water on Rt 291. Isn’t that what you paid them to do? Why all the high praise? Maybe they did the work for free and deserve the praise. I don’t know. 

Why not buy a vac truck, Rev Strand? Seems like the most practical purchase a stormwater authority would acquire. 

There was mention of some good work my $8.25/month stormwater fee is getting accomplished…

Corvias has also removed 994,000 pounds, or 500 tons, of debris from the city’s inlets and 27,554 gallons of standing water have been removed along with 1,232 catch basins being cleaned and repaired. “That’s what’s been clogging the system, causing a lot of localized flooding…

I don’t doubt there is a lot of trash stuck in the underground pipes that make up the stormwater system. Have they ever been cleaned out? And what’s going to stop them from clogging up again the way the streets are littered with trash that ends up flowing into the storm drains? People think storm drains are trash cans and throw stuff down there all the time. Hopefully, the cleanup is ongoing, or at least a periodic exercise. 

Hey stormwater guys. I understand the purpose of your rain garden/bioretention basins. But is anyone mandating them? Is anyone comparing how much cleaner the water is headed to the creek and river compared to what it was before the basins? Sure, it’s nice to do a small part to clean a little section of rainwater runoff to the river, but for the price we’re paying for this, how many sump pumps and French drains could be installed in Chester homes and businesses instead?  

There is no law, permit, or compliance decree for these basin. There’s no penalty for even the filthiest stormwater running off into the creek and basin – hell, raw sewage goes in the river during heavy rains. These basins aren’t fulfilling a need. They’re just cute little environmental projects someone got convinced to spend our money on so they could qualify for more money. What a crock. 

Thanks to a new position I’ve been appointed to, this will probably be my last rant on anything regarding county government. You’ll just read fluff pieces from now on when you allow me to attend your ribbon cuttings and grand openings. But, if you catch me in private, I may tell you what’s on my mind.