On one level, there isn’t much to say about the 2,000-foot-long, unnamed brook that begins somewhere in the storm drains above El Toro Drive and flows into the mushy ground at the base of Nelson’s Field.
It’s just one of scores of tiny rivulets that meander through the hills of
But the brook carries more than just water.
Sometimes, it carries little things that Robert LaBelle’s boys throw in it. Other times, it carries a soothing summertime sound that pours in the windows of Bob McMahon’s house.
It also carries a hefty price tag for taxpayers, who are shelling out $1.2 million so it can flow through a new culvert under
City records don’t shed much light on the creek. It shows up on maps as a thin blue line that begins somewhere northwest of
But the water uphill from there is all vented into storm drains, eventually dumping out from a large concrete pipe just west of Pine Meadow.
It dumps into a little pond, barely the width of a minivan, that’s got a tangle of vines spilling down to the foamy surface.
Then the water starts to flow downhill, a steady trickle that neighbors say runs continuously day in and day out, all year long.
“I love it. It’s a nice brook,” said LaBelle, who lives at
Both LaBelle and McMahon said they call it “the brook” and don’t know of any other name. City records don’t show a name for it.
LaBelle said he’s always wondered where the brook begins and where it ends up.
Most of the time, he said, he loves it.
His two boys enjoy tossing rocks in it, LaBelle said, and plunking around on the banks as boys have always done.
However, there are times that tree limbs and other debris get caught up by the culvert that carries the creek beneath his driveway. It takes some work to haul them out, LaBelle said.
The creek has some history, too.
LaBelle said he was reading his deed recently and discovered some old language from a 1907 transaction that afforded him special rights as the owner of the brook.
“I have permission to do my laundry in the brook,” LaBelle said.
So far, though, he hasn’t jumped at the opportunity.
But, he said, there must have been a time that people did.
Now he wonders if the provision might give him the right to hook up some kind of waterwheel that would generate electricity that could help hold down his household utility bills.
McMahon said his dog enjoys frolicking in the water, but it was pretty clear from his tone that the dog’s owner wasn’t quite as thrilled.
He said that he and his wife love to leave their windows open for as much of the year as possible so they can listen to “the soothing sound” of the stream as it bubbles through the rocks.
“We really enjoy the sound of it,” McMahon said.
The brook splashes through trees and rocks as it meanders down to
A canopy of trees holds sway overhead, a mix of pines, oaks and more that isn’t exactly magnificent but at least offers a little touch of wilderness as it slices through the suburban homes erected alongside it during the past several decades.
The new culvert should be in by the middle of next week, state officials said, but the project won’t be finished until April.
Derrita Construction Co. of Middletown is doing the work on the $1.2 million project for the state Department of Transportation.
Once the brook crosses under
Polkville Brook flows into Copper Mine Brook, which empties into the
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