Hente: Camp Creek ditch a high priority in storm fund

       City Council member Hente told about 50 attendees at the Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association (PVNA) annual meeting Oct. 22 that upgrades to the Camp Creek drainage ditch will be a top-ten priority once the city-wide stormwater fee takes effect - an announcement that met with applause.
       “If there's a torrential downpour tomorrow, I'm not sure the ditch is adequate,” Hente said. “In fact, I'm sure it's not.”
       The city has no recommended upgrade plan as yet, but Hente said one possibility is covering the ditch and putting a median over it. Public meetings will be held in any case, he added. The estimated cost for the two-part project, which could start as early as 2008, is nearly $13 million.
       One concern has been that the city might cover the ditch, then put in four lanes instead of the current two. President Dick Wulf, a long-time resident, recalled the city proposing that years ago and running into neighborhood opposition. “The city knows that if they try to put four lanes through, they will face what they faced in the '70s, so I'm sure they'll work with us,” he said.
       Hente was one of two local elected officials at the meeting in the Howbert Elementary gym. Also on hand was County Commission Chair Sallie Clark. Her district, like Hente's, takes in Pleasant Valley, a neighborhood of about 800 homes off 31st Street.
       Both Clark and Hente urged opposition to three initiative measures on the Nov. 7 election ballot: Number 38 at the state level and 200 and 201 locally.
       Other dignitaries present included Howbert Principal David Morris and Rock Ledge Ranch Living History Association President Ron Wright.
       The meeting included recognition of Girl Scout Troop 213 for building the school's xeriscape garden and Legacy Path and of Cub Scout Pack 6 for cleaning the 31st Street ditch and painting the pedestrian bridge rails at Howbert.
       All the PVNA board members were elected without opposition: Krista Van Lancker, secretary; Flo Hagiwara, treasurer; Dawn Sandoval, safety and crime prevention team leader; Al Ferguson, membership team leader; and Carol Corcoran, external relations team leader. Wulf was elected to a two-year term last year.

Westside Pioneer article