HERKIMER — The Herkimer Town Highway Department will install a drain in front of an Elm Street residence where rainwater runoff flows into the yard.

The owner, John Cancelino, described the problem and a possible solution to the town board during. The house sits at the corner of Elm Street and state Route 5 in the town of Herkimer, and when rain falls, runoff from both roads flows directly onto the property. He said a drain is needed in front of his property and suggested a drain be installed in front of his neighbor’s property as well because runoff is causing a sinkhole that could cause the neighbor’s driveway to collapse.

“The crown of the road is higher than his property,” said town Highway Superintendent David McManus. “We tried a blacktop berm, but it didn’t work. The best alternative is a drain.”

When asked if he will need to have an engineer look at the site, McManus said that would delay the work.

“If the water hits my fuse box it could burn the house down,” said Cancelino.

McManus explained that once the drain is installed, the water would flow into a dry well. He plans to use precast concrete lined with stones and topped with a concrete grate.

“The salt on the road would rot metal pipes,” McManus explained.

The cost of the drain would be about $2,000, not counting labor, he said. He added he has marked out the site for the drain and National Grid has checked the site and given the OK to dig.

Councilwoman Kathy Penree asked how much of a delay would result if the town were to hire an engineer to look at the site. She recalled that the town had spent a great deal of money to deal with a collapsing road that impacted her property only to have to undertake another repair project when the road sunk again a short time later. She said it might be better to ensure the work is done in a way that will solve the problem the first time rather than have to redo it again later.

McManus said he did not know how long it would take for an engineer to make a recommendation, but he said the land in that area drains quickly.

“When we had a rainstorm last Thursday, within a half hour the water dissipated,” he said. “We just need to keep it from going into his yard.”

McManus said a similar drain is used at the town park and has been effective.

Milling the road and possibly adding a rain gutter could ease the problems near that intersection as well, he said. He did not recommend installing a second drain at this time.

Town board members agreed McManus should go ahead with his plan.