LIBERTY - The creation of a retention pond on lower Belmont Avenue later this year is a reminder of the devastating 2003 flooding.
The township has received a state grant of $162,000 for the pond, which will be near the Goodwill store on Belmont Avenue, an area that often floods during heavy rains, said township Administrator Pat Ungaro.
The township had to come up with a $63,330 match to get the grant, Ungaro said.
The project is the first of eight that are being done to help ease flooding problems that first came to the surface when disaster officials visited Liberty in the wake of the 2003 floods, Ungaro said.
The township suffered heavy damage from heavy rains on July 21 and July 27, 2003, and an additional localized heavy rainfall in August of that year added to their misery.
Businesses in the area of the retention pond have suffered heavy damage in recent years from flooding, Ungaro said.
''It's a high spot,'' Ungaro said. ''Everything goes downhill from there.''
The consulting firm that is helping the township with the flooding abatement issues suggested that the Belmont Avenue retention pond be the first project, Ungaro said.
Bids will be let for the project in the late summer or early fall, Ungaro said. Other projects involve improved storm sewers or other retention ponds, Ungaro said.
Ungaro said the township may struggle with the future projects to come up with the match for the grants because of the state of the economy, but he termed the Belmont Avenue pond a ''critical project.''
Trustee Chairman W. Gary Litch said he is glad to see the project moving forward. He said he lobbied for the pond since the 90s, when the township was also hit hard by heavy rains.
Litch said the township will have to watch in the future to see if they can afford any more matches for grants for other projects, but he did say he supports the retention pond project.
''That's one thing that really needs to be done,'' Litch said.
Fire Chief Michael Durkin said he still keeps in occasional contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and updates them on how the township is addressing issues related to the 2003 floods. He said that makes it easier to apply for grants because there is documentation that the township is trying to address those problems.