City Council Addresses Flooding Issues at Public Library

By Vaughn Huelsman
Staff Writer

The South Pasadena City Council voted to enhance the repairing process of the recently flooded library and senior center building at its most recent meeting on October 7. The council addressed the issue after heavy downpour on September 14 and 15 caused severe flooding, which the drainage system failed to prevent. The proposed resolution includes fixing the current damages as well as improving the deficient drainage system.

“Our library has a historical flooding problem,” Public Works Director Paul Toor said. “The way the library was constructed and built, there is no drainage facilities within the vicinity and the nearest storm drain we have is a block away.”

Initially, the city staff members estimated $150,000 in repairs to the carpets that were damaged due to the flooding, but after further investigation, they projected the cost to be between $400,000 and $450,000. In response, the city council waived the usual requirement for bidding on the reconstruction and is instead relying on the insurance company to facilitate the repairs and manage the cost of the damage. However, the city will have to cover the cost of the drainage system improvements.

There is currently no room in the annual budget for the entirety of the project so city staff will have to revisit the source of its funding.

“Every time we try to do some hodge podge repairs, but then the next year the library gets flooded again,” Toor said.

The library floods annually, and after years of damage, the city is finally addressing the drainage system, which is thought to be the root of the problem.