Scott residents plead for help to end flooding

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About 40 Scott residents turned out Tuesday seeking the township‘‍s help to stop the recurring flooding of their homes during intense storms.

Each resident’‍s story was different but most have experienced flooding more than once and all were affected by a heavy thunderstorm on June 28.

"This is the second time in less than a year that I have had 3 feet of water [in my home] and lost another car," said Beth Tomasovic of Berkwood Drive, who has hired two engineers to figure out how to keep her house from getting flooded again.

One of the engineers suggested she install a sump pump with a backup generator at a cost of $13,000.

"This is one of the homes we might have to look into purchasing," said Commissioner David Jason, who added that it could cost $1.4 million to fix the issues that cause the repeated flooding at Ms. Tomasovic's home.

"You can buy my home and you'll have the biggest, nicest reservoir," Ms. Tomasovic replied.

Vince Fera of Pine Trees Drive said his home has been flooded three times in less than two years.

"The drainage system isn't doing what it did when the plan was built," he said, adding the water flows so fast that the drains can't keep up.

Commissioner Bill Wells said corrective action would not only fix homes on Pine Trees but also those on lower Lindsay Road. The cost would be less than $100,000, he added.

Betty Ritson of Rockhill Road said she had more than a foot of sewage in her home following the recent heavy downpour. She has lived in the house for 42 years and had had flooding seven or eight times, she said. Art Duva of Borland Road said he has had sewage in his basement on five occasions.

Mrs. Ritson said it seems that homes on one side of the street are flooded but those on the other side are not. 

"Everybody says it's an easy fix, but I've been dealing with it for 26 years," Mr. Duva said.

Township engineer Larry Lennon said his firm looked at the Rockhill Road problem in the mid-1990s and he recalled that the price tag to fix it was $5 million.

When Mr. Wells suggested the installation of a back-flow preventer, Commissioner Craig Stephens said he was looking into that for his home, in part because it isn't expensive.

Robert Shamonsky and Abigail Pagliai, who own homes on Scrubgrass Road, said their homes were recently flooded. Because the Pagliai family has a young child, they have moved in with relatives.

"We need help. We can't live in our home and we can't sell it," Mrs. Pagliai said.

Commissioner David Calabria offered to bring an official from the state Department of Transportation to Scrubgrass Road because it is a state road.

A tearful Marilyn Mance, who with her husband Frank owns a commercial building near the intersection of Bower Hill and Painters Run Road, said the structure has been flooded eight times.

"We can't do it anymore," she said.

Mr. Wells said he would support a storm water tax similar to the one enacted in nearby Mt. Lebanon or an increase in the property tax rate to raise enough money for necessary repairs in Scott.

"I don't want to sit here two more years and see people crying," he said.

Mr. Jason indicated that officials would search the township's budget for money and consider possible future tax levies.

"I think we owe it to the residents in flood-prone areas to at least investigate," he said.

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:

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