City schedules May 31 public forum on flood
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
The Madison City Commission has scheduled a public forum at the end of May that will focus on Lake County flooding issues and allow the city's residents and area officials to discuss ideas about emergency response and flood-damage prevention.|
The city commissioners approved a public forum on Monday after listening to several persons speak about how they were affected by recent flooding. In addition to the group that spoke to the commissioners on May 14, about 10 residents attended Monday's city meeting to talk about how the community was damaged by heavy rainfall and high water that hit Madison during the first weekend in May.
Madison resident Tim Higgins, whose home was damaged by flooding and sewer backup, led the remarks offered by the meeting attendees. Higgins said the city should work on some solutions to the reoccurring flood threats, including controlling the water flow along local Park and Silver creeks, a proposal made after Madison's 1993 flood.
"I think it's time to reopen the discussions again -- to slow the water down that's coming to Madison and going through Madison," Higgins said.
In response to comments that he's received during the last several weeks, Mayor Gene Hexom proposed that city officials schedule a meeting at 7 p.m. on May 31 in the 4-H Center on the Lake County 4-H grounds.
After Monday's city meeting, Hexom said the public forum would allow a cross-section of city residents to speak on flooding issues.
"I'd like to get more of a general feeling from the public on where we want to go with this thing," Hexom said. "Whether or not to revisit the Banner study that was done in 1995? Whether we make it a joint city-county program?"
According to Hexom, many residents have offered ideas on how the city should prepare for future flood threats, but the most recent flood mitigation plan -- a plan to lessen the effects of a flood emergency in Madison -- was provided by Banner Engineering in 1995.
Hexom said engineers would need to restudy Madison's watershed and water systems because changes had occurred during the last two decades.
"And then we have the cost to do a study, and how long are we willing to wait for that information?" Hexom asked.
In addition, Hexom said creek maintenance within city limits was a municipal responsibility, but dams and retention ponds outside of the city limits would involve Lake County.
Hexom said he would ask to speak to the Lake County Commissioners at their next meeting on June 5.
According to Hexom, organizers of the May 31 forum would ask county representatives, public-safety officials, first-responders and other persons who would have useful information to attend the public forum "to just kind of bring everything together."
After the 1993 flood, Madison conducted a property buyout/relocation program in which 67 homes were purchased and 16 homes received repair assistance at a cost of $2.3 million. However, Hexom wasn't optimistic about the possibility of Madison receiving state or federal money to help with a new flood mitigation project.
"Under the current budget constraints that the state and the federal governments have, I don't think that funding will be available to us," Hexom said.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
Send us your community news, events, letters to the editor and other suggestions. Now, you can submit birth, wedding and engagement announcements online too!
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 madisonet.com All Rights Reserved.