Eldorado deserves fast action

Corrective action cannot come soon enough for the 39th Street residents in Eldorado who are plagued by sewage and stormwater runoff.

The situation should have been resolved a long time ago.

Had those problems been resolved, new development — construction of new homes — might have followed on available land parcels, meaning additional tax revenue for the city, county, Logan Township and the Altoona Area School District.

Instead, existing property owners have continued to deal with the nagging problems, and development has been discouraged. No doubt, current property owners watch the sky with anxiety every time a weather forecast calls for moderate-to-heavy rainfall or thunderstorms — and, during the winter months, fear a quick thaw.

If the old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease really is true, then there hasn’t been enough persistent squeaking over the years.

It’s true that the city and township governments deal consistently with tight budgets. However, the two municipalities should have been able to find some workable options years ago, considering that the situations have existed for decades.

Years ago, it also would have been much less costly to make the needed fixes.

But again, over the years, there weren’t enough persistent requests for action to prompt determination by elected officials to correct the problems, once and for all.

And, for that lack of persistence, the affected property owners are to blame, although it can be argued that it shouldn’t take multiple requests — or even one directive from the state — for officials to address problems clearly within their scope of responsibility.

Officials in office now need to attack the problems, but it must be acknowledged that their predecessors clearly dropped the proverbial ball long before now.

A June 18 front page article by Mirror reporter William Kibler revealed that the city, township and Altoona Water Authority currently are working together to try to solve the Eldorado problems. The article noted that options are on the discussion table regarding raising money needed to carry out the work.

Unfortunately, reference to — not a clear decision about — something so basic as a detention pond indicates that, despite so much time having passed, not enough detailed analysis of the runoff problem has been performed.

Some of the affected property owners might be wondering whether the situation still would exist if elected officials and their families were being affected by the problems.

That thinking might be unfair, considering the quality of leadership the two municipalities have had over the years. However, it is easy to understand how persistent frustration could spawn such thoughts.

This time of the year is when municipalities should be correcting problems like the one in Eldorado. A blinding snowstorm or deep-freeze conditions are not conducive to such work.

A quote in Kibler’s article attributed to City Councilwoman Christie Jordan — “We’re actively concerned. We’re not ignoring you.” — needs to remain a guiding source of hope for the affected residents.

Meanwhile, officials of the two municipalities need to admit that procrastination will not make the problems disappear.

Procrastination has failed miserably up to now.

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