MOUNT VERNON — New drainage trenches on Newark Road got an unexpected test after a water tap installation went awry.

Assistant City Engineer Jason Epley said infiltration trenches that will drain the area of new sidewalks along Newark Road have all been installed. They seem to be working fine, if a sudden inflow of water from a plumber’s mishap is any indication.

The plumber attempted to hook into a Dixie Drive residence from a new water line there when water started shooting out of the tap at 90 psi. The plumber dug a ditch from the tap to one of the infiltration trenches, and the trench “took every ounce of water,” Epley said.

Epley said the plumber was unfamiliar with water taps and a loose valve probably didn’t help matter either.

The infiltration trenches are dug down about five feet and are filled with gravel. Some of the trenches for the Newark Road sidewalk project are 70 feet long, Epley said.

The sidewalk project has ended for the winter. The contractor has yet to pour sidewalk from Melick Street up to the Martinsburg Road/Newark Road split.

With the infiltration ditches complete, the contractor should be able to complete the sidewalks quickly, weather permitting, when they return in spring.


A sinkhole at Marita and Vernedale drives led to discovery of a bad tile line running diagonally beneath the intersection, Street Superintendent Tom Hinkle said.

The line will need to be replaced soon, which will involve excavation of the roadway. It will be a big project, as the line is at least 150 feet long, Hinkle said. Hinkle said the city will probably need to hire a contractor for the job.

The sinkhole has been stabilized but will also need to be repaired.

Another sinkhole, on Vernedale and Hillcrest, will be repaired by city crews, Hinkle said.

Those wishing to have their leaves picked up by city crews have half a week left, from Dec. 2-4. After that, the city will be tearing down the last of the leaf collection equipment to fit trucks for snow removal.

One of the leaf machines was briefly out of service after it caught fire Monday, Hinkle said. It was repaired and was back in service Wednesday.

A pedestrian crossing signal on Parrott Street that was damaged at least four times this year has been permanently re-set in place. The signal kept getting hit by heavy truck traffic using Parrott to get around road construction.

Hinkle noted that the signal could get a further beating next year, if trucks again take Parrott as an alternate route during road construction.


A water line, not a sewer line as previously reported in the News, is leaking in a field off Progress Drive, Utilities Director Mathias Orndorf said.

A valve has been installed at the New Gambier Road underground water reservoir that will assist in an all over rehab. The valve will allow the reservoir to be isolated from the rest of the city water system while work is carried out inside of, and around, the reservoir.

The valves at the reservoir that were installed in the 1950s are frozen up and will have to be replaced, along with some vents. Also, the interior concrete of the reservoir will be tested to see where repairs are needed.

Orndorf said the project will be completed in phases. The valve work and testing will be followed by whatever concrete work is found to be necessary.

Parks and Buildings and Grounds

The city received a $900 donation from AmVets to stock the lakes at Ariel-Foundation Park, Parks and Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Dave Carpenter said. Carpenter used the money to order an additional 450 four to six-inch hybrid bluegill.

Carpenter further reported that the LED light installation at the Mount Vernon Fire firehouse has been completed. The lights are much brighter and the firehouse should see a “considerable” savings in electricity, Carpenter said.

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Nick Sabo: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter,