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Shops Inside Haymarket Town Center Getting Wet

HAYMARKET, Va. — The Haymarket Town Center has become a frequent site of flooding, but it’s more than just employees who work for the the tiny town’s government that is getting wet.

A real estate agency, a consulting firm, as well as a small shop called The Very Thing all rent space inside the Town Center located at 15000 Washington Street. The building is prone to flooding during moderate rain storms.

And that had a woman, who was identified by Town Manager Brian Henshaw only as an employee of The Very Thing, storming mad.

“If it was your business, you would want a quick fix,” said the woman to the Haymarket Town Council.

The building flooded when our area was drenched by several storms at the beginning of May, and again on May 16. No one was available from The Very Thing to provide comment for this story to tell us just how wet it got inside the shop.

The shop employee directed her comments at Town Councilman Jay Tobias who said he’s aware of the problem but would rather fix the flooding issues and improve the site overall.

“I’m not for putting a band aid…I’m not for doing temporary fixes…that’s a waste of money…it’s a slow moving process…it’s government,” said Tobias.

Officials said gravel was laid outside the building in an effort to curb the flooding but it didn’t work.

There is an overall Town Center Master Plan to, among other things, help stop the flooding. But it’s a costly one – to the tune of about $500,000, according to Henshaw.

A 2013 study prepared by J2 Egineers, of Chantilly, and Land Planning and Design Associates, of Sterling, outlined big improvements for the 12,300 square foot municipal complex at the center of town. Among them were improving traffic flow around the building as the area is known for vehicle congestion, and improving storm water runoff that causes the flooding.

“We’re in the process of deciding what our options are,” said Henshaw. “Some fixes have suggested we dig along the foundation, some have called for installing sump pumps, so we are really exploring options right now.”

Henshaw says its best if the town hold fund a big, overall fix rather than putting cash into small measures to mitigate only the flooding. A quick fix would only cause the water to go elsewhere to another site in town, he added.

Right now there is $250,000 in the town’s budget to design a fix for the problem based on solutions outlined in the Town Center Master Plan. It could also cover the start of construction that could begin as early as next spring, said Henshaw.

Tobis said perhaps members of the next elected Town Council could fast-track improvements to the Town Center.

‘Maybe the next council can work faster, in a more harmonious, a religious right way of doing things, its what the next council is preaching…” said Tobias, who said the the woman’s urge to fix the flooding problems was a “vested interest.”

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