Engineer helps solve hometown flooding problems

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) -   We've all heard that home is where the heart is. For engineer Kelly Taft, home is where she's putting her heart into fixing some serious problems.

One of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin once said, "you may delay; but time will not." That's clearly the case with conditions of roads and bridges across the nation; time is actually delaying the inevitable.
Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 11.02.44 AM"The dilapitation of our current infrastructure is a big problem," said Kelly with Kelly Group Engineering. "Roads, bridges, water, sewer were all installed 50, 60, 70 years ago. And, over the course of time, they have not been improved."
Back in her hometown of Tuscumbia, Kelly knows it all too well. So, she wants to help solve some major flood problems. Tuscumbia Mayor Bill Shoemaker is glad to have her on his team.
"I watched her grow up, I knew about her education," said Shoemaker. "She has extensive energy, extensive experience in dealing with developmental areas in new communities."
City council members hired Kelly and her husband Bart to help get them started on addressing flooding issues that are only getting worse.  They're dedicating all of their time to surveying, and brainstorming cost effecient plans lately.

That's no surprise to the Mayor though. "Kelly lives in Tuscumbia. She's seen all of this draininage most of her life," he said. "We've talked about it some and she said she's willing to help get us started and show us what it's going to take to help get some plans."
Their plans are only in the beginning stages, and would address the hardest hit flood areas. However, they are taking another approach too, suggesting the city abide by building standards from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
"Tuscumbia has taken that a step further for implementation of storm water regulations; to be proactive instead of reactive for development in the future," Kelly said.
The planning commission is currently reviewing the storm water ordinance and will be reccomending that to the City Council for review.
Meanwhile, they've help a public hearing to discuss the Taft's plans. So far, one way they have preposed paying for repairs, raising utility bills by three dollars.