GOSHEN — The Goshen Redevelopment Commission Tuesday approved a projected $1.3 million collaborative plan aimed at reducing flooding on Goshen’s east side.
The resolution is an agreement between the city, Elkhart County, Supreme Corp. and Forest River Inc. to convert Horn Ditch, which extends from College Avenue southeast to C.R. 31, into a two-stage ditch that will increase water storage capacity in the area. The vote follows a similar approval by the Goshen City Council during its June 3 meeting.
According to the agreement, the area surrounding Horn Ditch has suffered significant property damage over the years due to flooding during periods of heavy rains.
“The reason why this area floods is because southeast of Goshen is all substantially elevated, and it comes down into the corridor here between C.R. 31 and College Avenue and flattens out,” said Goshen Utilities Engineer Dustin Sailor. “At that point the velocity of the water slows down and starts spreading out into the adjoining boundaries.”
In an effort to remedy the situation, the Elkhart County Drainage Board put forward a plan to convert a portion of Horn Ditch into a two-stage ditch, the reconfiguration of which will substantially increase the storage capacity of the ditch and therefore reduce flooding in the area.
In order to facilitate the project, two nearby businesses — Forest River Inc. and Supreme Corp. — have agreed to contribute funding toward the ditch conversion due to the fact that both businesses are slated to benefit significantly from the project.
In addition to reducing flooding on their properties, the plan notes that a portion of real estate owned by the two companies, approximately 50 acres total, may be removed from a designated Special Flood Hazard Area along the ditch, which in turn will allow the companies to develop the real estate without special permits from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.