The Cleveland City Council added Candies Creek to a flood feasibility study to be conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Council committed Monday to studying 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 the sources of flooding, impacts and recommendations to abate damage caused by the flooding.
Some of the resolutions could be stand-alone solutions while others will be interdependent.
The Council had already allocated $300,000 for its 50 percent share to study South Mouse Creek.
Councilman Bill Estes suggested adding Candies Creek to the study at a cost of $225,000.
“Certainly, Mouse Creek,” he said. “I believe Candies Creek is an urgent issue when it rains.” Once the feasibility study is completed, the Army Corps of Engineers will submit a National Economic Development Plan to the U.S. Congress.
It will be “the one plan with the best return on investment,” said Craig Carrington, a representative with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “We would not recommend any plan to you or to Congress that is not economically feasible.”
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 would not be obligated to construct any of the Corps’ infrastructure recommendations.
The third phase is a Project Partnership Agreement that would commit the city to construct identified flood control measures. The cost share is then 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, award contracts and monitor 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, detention and retention ponds.
Carrington said the Corps conducted a reconnaissance study “a few years ago, but at that time, funding was an issue and maybe the Corps or the city had some other priorities, so we did pause. But recently we contacted the city again and there was some renewed interest.”
The reconnaissance study was done in 2003 in conjunction with the detention pond project on the Woolen Mill Branch in South Cleveland.
He said the feasibility study is the second of a three-phase process. The Army Corps of Engineers and city of Cleveland fund the feasibility study equally.
“The Army Corps of Engineers cannot try to control floods. We try to find the best solution to prevent the flood damages that are occurring,” he said.
Mayor Tom Rowland asked if the local share should be city and county since the two are closely intertwined.
The study area is only with 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 406 along Candies Creek.
Carrington said the study would be conducted from a watershed approach.
“Water doesn’t recognize political boundaries,” he said. “That is a question for you and local leadership to talk through with your county counterpart.”