WATERFORD TWP.–Officials in the Oakland County Water Commissioner’s office announced that Commissioner Jim Nash has started a new stormwater improvement project in Pontiac named Norton Street Innovation.
This project will improve water quality and create a gathering space for the community to enjoy. The $1.3 million project is being funded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the American Rescue Plan with 100% loan forgiveness.
“This is the first fully funded stormwater improvement project to take place in Oakland County,” Nash said. “It is my hope that this project will pave the way for green infrastructure stormwater improvement projects in the future. I look forward to collaborating with the City of Pontiac community members to provide a welcoming space for all to enjoy.”
The goal for this project is to
- utilize bioretention cells to beautify the space and temporarily capture stormwater runoff before it enters the Augusta Drain;
- plant native trees and plants to absorb and filter stormwater; and
- reduce pollutants from entering the Clinton River.
“This innovative project will enhance the appearance of drainage infrastructure, create an appealing park-like environment, and save taxpayer money in the long-run by improving stormwater resiliency,” said Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel.
The Augusta Drain property is 5 acres of open land along Norton Street from North Johnson Street to Sanderson Avenue. The property is owned by the Augusta Drain Drainage District, but it is maintained by the Oakland County Water Resources Commission office. Pre-construction has started, and crews have completed soil infiltration and boring tests to better understand the soil composition. Testing is done to verify how quickly the soil can absorb water.
Tests have no impact on residents and results will help design the space. Crews are expected to break ground on construction this fall.
“I love this project and I love how beneficial it will be to Pontiac residents,” said Pontiac City Council President Mike McGuinness. “This creative, collaborative approach by the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s office is stellar. The impacted Pontiac neighborhood will see a substantial investment into its public spaces and the neighbors will see a direct improvement for their quality of life, all while best practices are implemented for stronger environmental quality. On behalf of the citizens of Pontiac, I want to say thank you to Commissioner Nash and the entire WRC team who are working on this project.”
The Water Resources Commissioner’s office is partnering with the City of Pontiac, community stakeholders and nearby residents to name the space. Community events will be held for local residents in spring and summer. To stay up to date on project progress, visit oakgov.com/nortonstreet. More about the water resources office at www.oakgov.com/water.