Members of Sunbury’s Services Committee continue to search for solutions to the sinkhole at the Evening Street and Cherry Street intersection before the mysterious cavity swallows a Corvette and makes national news.
During last Wednesday’s (May 7) Services Committee meeting, Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Rich Felton and Street Department Supervisor Rob Gorley joined forces to discuss potential causes and solutions because each have concerns about the sinkhole — Felton because it could be a sewer problem, Gorley because the cavity runs under a heavily-travelled roadway.
Felton and Gorley had Fee Corp examine both the sanitary sewer lines and storm sewer lines in the sinkhole’s vicinity, and they said the sewers appear sound, deepening the mystery.
“Neither the storm nor sanitary sewers are involved in the sinkhole, but there’s a large void under that road,” Gorley said. “It’s a sizable void, but there’s no deflection in the pavement. We need to dig it up and see what it needs for repair.”
While the cause of the sinkhole is a mystery, Gorley did say he suspects an old, unused sewer line is under the location and has collapsed.
Gorley asked committee members to request Council approval for spending up to $20,000 for Zimmerman & Co. to excavate the sinkhole area, determine the cause of the problem, and make repairs.
“Zimmerman wants the job on a cost-plus basis, $20,000 to be on the safe side,” Gorley said. “I don’t think it will hit that Mark.”
Later that evening during the regular Sunbury Village Council meeting, Gorley said during excavation and repairs he would reroute truck traffic along County Road 605 and cars through the Village, but around where the work is being done.
Village solicitor David Brehm recommended calling the Village insurance company to determine if the sinkhole warrants a claim. Brehm also recommended contacting ODOT District 6 for reports of earlier site inspections, and to request an ODOT inspection for courses of action they would recommend because Cherry Street, a.k.a. Ohio 37, falls under the ODOT umbrella.
“Have ODOT approve what we’re going to do sooner rather than later,” Brehm said. “Tell the insurance company it’s on a state highway, and get an adjuster out here on an expedited basis. To the extent it warrants a valid claim and goes under a state highway, determine if there is any shared responsibility.”
Council members approved a motion to spend up to $20,000 to excavate and repair the sinkhole on a cost-plus basis.
In other Services Committee business, Felton said an April 28 lightning strike took out a variable frequency drive on the Wastewater Treatment Plant influent pump number 2. He said he would file a report with the Village insurance company; and the repair would be in the $5,000 to $6,000 range.
Felton also said he met with Duke Root Control to discuss what sanitary sewer service lines are due to foam. Foaming dissolves tree roots penetrating sewer lines.
This year’s foaming would cost $1.59 per foot, Felton said; and 4,935 feet of lines are due for foaming this year. The project will cost $7,846.65.
Sanitary service sewer lines will be foamed on Arbor Drive, Baughman Street, Chipmunk Lane, Columbus Street, Hawthorne Court, Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne Street, High Street, Ohio Street and Walnut View Drive.
Felton said Duke Root Control would do the foaming in July.
“They come from Syracuse,” Felton said. “We’re a one-day stop for them.”
Gorley asked members of the committee to request that Council approve purchasing a generator to run the traffic light at the Ohio 3/37 intersection.
“During a recent power outage the traffic light’s backup batteries ran out, and that’s a bad intersection,” Gorley said. “The generator could also be used on worksites to operate electric power tools.”
Gorley recommended purchasing a Honda 3,000 Watt inverter generator from Voss Brothers at state bid pricing for $2,111, and an additional $860 for M.P. Dory to furnish and install a generator hookup panel assembly at the traffic signal controller cabinet.
Council members later approved the request.