The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 30, 2013

Geistown digging into stormwater problems

JOHNSTOWN — It’s no secret that Geistown has trouble with stormwater runoff.

But residents want to know how long they will have to wait to find respite from flooded yards and basements.

On Wednesday, borough officials began what they predicted will be a long and costly process of finding solutions.

About 20 residents turned out at the former Geistown fire hall for a workshop to discuss the borough’s water woes.

“We’re not here to make promises,” Mayor Don Scott said.

“Any fix is going to be incredibly expensive.”

Scott was joined by Councilman Joseph Sernell, recently hired public works supervisor Mike Grandinetti and Jake Morisi, director of information technology.

The plan is to chart trouble spots such as broken water lines and fix them.

“We’ll use GPS (global positioning satellite) and GIS (geographic information systems) to do a comprehensive study of all these inlets and put it on a map,” Grandinetti said. “Then we’ll move forward.”

Sernell also is chairman of the borough’s stormwater committee that was formed last month.

Feedback from residents is key to generating an action plan to fix and fund water projects, he said.

“It’s a boroughwide issue, and it will take a boroughwide solution,” Sernell said.

Added Scott: “That’s why we’re here. To get the ball rolling.”

Morisi announced a Web portal residents can log onto to provide details of flooding issues.

The portal can be found on the Information and Events section of the borough’s website, www.geistownbor­

Sernell said the stormwater committee, which includes Bruce Becker and Frank Hauser, will pool the information and update residents at a meeting sometime after Christmas.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on

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