From left: City workers Chad Cooper and Eric Goodell and volunteer Ed Hamilton lay out the new drainage system behind the library on Sept. 11. (The Enterprise/Aidan McGloin)

VALE—The dirt parking lot behind Vale City Library has a new drainage system, a joint project between the city and construction worker and landlord Ed Hamilton.

During the rainy season water stands as deep as four inches in the lot, used by customers at the hair salon Nails by Jenn, Hair by Them.

Elderly women have to wear boots to get their nails done when that happens, and water has seeped into the salon, Hamilton’s basement, and the library, said Jenn Hall, salon owner.

Hamilton is creating a drainage system to capture rain from the roof’s drainage spouts and channel it into the street.

“I love that it’s getting done. It’s a huge issue,” said Hall.

Interim city manager Katie Lamb lent the city’s backhoe, a truck and two city workers, Eric Goodell and Chad Cooper, to the project.

“All it cost was a little bit of our employees’ time,” said Lamb.

Randy Holloway, a Vale resident, volunteered his time to put the drainage system together, and supervised the work.

The area began flooding after the city raised the alley and the state raised Washington Street, making the lot a divot with no path for the water to go.

Hamilton began working on the project four years ago but the drain installed by the city at the time was on a high point in the lot, and didn’t drain.

The high turnover in city managers delayed the project, said Hall, until Lamb provided the equipment and Hamilton volunteered his time.

“I said, ‘If you can afford that city hall, you can afford a drainage system,’” said Hamilton.

A lot of elderly women have been stopping by and thanking him already, said Hamilton.

News tip? Contact reporter Aidan McGloin at [email protected] or at 541-473-3377.

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