CURWENSVILLE – Flooding concerns raised by local residents topped the Curwensville Borough Council meeting Monday night.
Although several people attended, one person spoke to the council regarding an issue that actually has its origins in Pike Township.
Rick “Whitey” Swatsworth addressed council about an ongoing problem on Ann Street. While part of the street is in the borough, part is also in Pike Township.
Swatsworth said he has been talking with different offices and organizations trying to find a solution.
He showed pictures to the council of the home where he grew up and where his sister lives now. The house has been in the family since 1962 and since about 1972, during hurricane Agnes, the flooding issues began.
The pictures showed a drain and catch basin completely plugged by sediment and debris, debris washed down the street and completely destroying the driveway leading to his aunt’s home and other serious damage.
Swatsworth said the problem appears to be with a pipe installed somewhere around 1959 by Pike Township. Township representatives have told him they have no record of installing that pipe, but he was able to find the records.
The pipe, which drains water underground, is probably damaged, plugged or some other issue where the water is now running above ground and damaging property.
Swatsworth recalled attending a township meeting after Agnes and the supervisors then saying they wouldn’t do anything.
With the recent rainfall in the area, the problem has escalated. Swatsworth has talked with representatives in Rep. Glenn Thompson’s office, Rep. Tommy Sankey’s office, the state Department of Environmental Protection, Clearfield County Conservation District, the Clearfield County Commissioners and now the borough, with the intention of also taking to the township supervisors.
It was the individual he talked to at Thompson’s office who suggested he talk to everyone even remotely involved in order to show he has been doing all he can to get the matter resolved.
“I just want it fixed,” he said, adding that recently one of the current supervisors spoke to his sister and said that the township wouldn’t do anything. Swatsworth said that if they are the elected representatives of the people, and constituents have a problem, they should at least try to help.
Swatsworth said there are different options for resolution of what he has dubbed “Operation Ann Street.” First, he would like the township to at least acknowledge the problem.
And he would like the supervisors to step up and try to fix it, and possibly even work with the borough, since the washouts and flooding crosses into the borough and causes damage. He said there is always the possibility that DEP could step in since acid mine drainage is also involved.
Council members thanked Swatsworth for bringing the issue to their attention and said they would look into it and possibly even talk with the township about resolving the issue. Swatsworth’s next step is to attend an upcoming Pike Township meeting and address the issue.