Councilman David May said Monday, “This is becoming a major, major problem in the county and in the city and we can’t hide it anymore. We’ve got to address it.”
The city agreed Monday to sign a contract with the engineering corps to conduct the flood risk management study of Mouse Creek and Candies Creek. The estimated total cost of the study is $1.05 million. The city and federal government will each pay 50 percent, or $525,000.
The Council committed in August to allocate funding for its share of the cost to study 26 miles of South Mouse Creek and 42 miles of Candies Creek. It will not include Little Chatata Creek.
The finished report, expected to take 18 to 24 months, will identify sources of flooding, impacts and recommendations to abate damage caused by flooding.
Some abatement measures could be standalone solutions while others will be interdependent. The Council had already allocated $300,000 for its 50 percent share to study South Mouse Creek.
In August, Councilman Bill Estes suggested adding Candies Creek to the study, at a cost of $225,000.
The study area is only within the city’s urban growth boundary. It would cost the city an additional $100,000 to study Little Chatata. That 12-mile section of creek has 95 structures while South Mouse Creek has 1,036 structures and there are 406 structures along Candies Creek.
Recommendations from the Corps must meet a dollar-for-dollar ratio of 1:1. For example, if a recommendation costs $100,000, the value of the property impacted by the recommended fix must equal at least that amount.
The city is under no obligation to construct any of the Corps’ infrastructure recommendations.
May said Monday the Council should commit to a Project Partnership Agreement that would commit the city to construct identified flood control measures. The cost share would then be 65 percent federal and 35 percent local.
Once the Project Partnership Agreement is signed, the Corps of Engineers would take responsibility for designing the flood control measures, awarding contracts and monitoring construction.
All decisions are made with local support. It would be the city’s responsibility to purchase property needed to implement the flood control measures.
Recommended measures could include channel modifications, the building of walls, clearing waterways, bridge replacement, water diversion and detention and retention ponds.