City Center regional stormwater basin facility

The City of Verona will build a regional stormwater management facility just southeast of the City Center building. Businesses and developers will be able to buy into the project so that stormwater infrastructure won’t have to be installed on their property to handle heavy rain events.

The city took another step Tuesday, May 26, toward building a regional stormwater basin that could make some development – particularly downtown – much easier.

The Common Council unanimously approved two agreements to expand the scope of the design of the facility, which would be directly south of the area used to host concerts during Hometown Days and just east of a drainage outlet that runs into the Badger Mill Creek.

The new agreement will expand the basin significantly, adding a dry area that can store water during heavy rain events to a permanently wet one that was already planned. That expansion increased the cost to $144,000, up from the originally approved $108,000.

California-based environmental engineering company Brown and Caldwell has been working on the project for almost two years, and the new agreement brings in Madison-based infrastructure firm AECOM to assist on some technical issues beyond Brown and Caldwell’s expertise. AECOM has provided the services of the city engineer for many years.

Ald. Evan Touchett (Dist. 4) said people will see exciting changes out of the project.

“It’s good for the environment and good for the city,” he said.

The city has been looking to build a regional stormwater facility for around a decade. Doing so would allow property owners to pay for a share of its use rather than put stormwater drainage facilities on site. That’s particularly useful for redevelopment projects downtown, where space is limited.

Brown and Caldwell will continue to manage the project and design the facility, as well as take care of the permits and bidding.

The Verona area, like much of Dane County, has seen increases in flooding problems over the past few years during heavy rain events. A large storm in August 2018 caused the Badger Mill Creek to overflow, leaving Neff Park completely submerged, while areas in the Town of Verona and Paoli to the south had roads closed for days at a time.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.