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Changes add 450 properties to floodplain

If adopted, owners would be required to buy flood insurance

By Corene Brisendine

The owners of about 450 local properties would find those properties affected by revised FEMA floodplain boundaries, city officials said Wednesday.

If the floodplain revisions are adopted as they currently are drawn, owners of those properties will be required to purchase flood insurance for any structures on those land parcels.  City commissioners reviewed FEMA proposals for revision of the100-year floodplain during their work session Tuesday.

The map changes are expected to take effect in October 2014. In addition to the properties that are being mapped into the floodplain, about 270 properties will be removed from it. About 130 properties currently in the floodplain will remain in it.

(A map showing the proposed changes can be viewed at

City planner Chad Bunger said the new map takes into consideration data based on the 1993 flood. He said, however, that some of the areas previously within the plain have been removed because of improvements along the drainage channels and levee improvements.

Bunger said it is no surprise that the 100-year floodplain has expanded along Wildcat Creek with the most significant impact being in the Village Plaza area at the corner of Seth Child Road and Anderson Avenue.

Bunger said the city is working on making improvements along Linear Trail that should stop Wildcat Creek from back-flowing into the development. Still, he said, the development will most likely still be included in the 100-year floodplain because the improvements will not function as a levee. That means the area will still be susceptible to flooding.

According to the new maps, residents in the housing development east of Seth Child Cinema will also be included in the floodplain along Wildcat Creek.

The 100-year floodplain along Little Kitten Creek has been reduced in width, but extended further north to Vanesta Drive because of improvements along the creek. Bunger said the area between Virginia Drive and Nevada Street saw significant reductions in the floodplain.

Residents on the northeast side of town saw the most impact from the new floodplain maps. Several houses in the Dix Addition are being included in the 100-year floodplain based on data collected after the ’93 flood, which hit that area hard.

The city will be sending out direct mailings to the property owners who will be affected by the changes. It will also be holding various open house meetings in September to address any questions or concerns that affected residents have.

Also at Tuesday night’s work session, city commissioners gave the go-ahead to the start of construction on the Casement Road and bridge project.

The project will widen Casement Road to three lanes with a center turning lane from just north of Brookmont Drive to Marlatt Avenue.

In addition, sidewalks will be on the west side of Casement Road and connect to a sidewalk on the south side of Marlatt Avenue. The bridge portion on Casement Road crossing Marlatt drainage ditch will replace a 2 by 12 by 12 box culvert with a 20 foot by 40 foot by 20 foot bridge. The culvert was identified as a stormwater drainage choke point in 1995, and the bridge will reduce the size of the floodplain in the drainage area that covers about five square miles, said stormwater engineer Shane Swope. The ditch itself will also be repaired.

“[W]e are taking an old rural roadway with deep ditches and minimal width, and converting it into an urban section that will have buried storm drain lines, and curb and gutter providing for pedestrian and bicycle traffic,” said city manager Ron Fehr.

Mark Bachamp, a representative of Olsson Associates who has been working on designing the project, said the entire effort will cost the city $2.9 million. City officials said money will come from stormwater and surface transportation funds. Bachamp said they plan to start preliminary construction later this fall and finish the project by August 2014.

Swope said staff members will work with USD 383 to re-route buses once construction begins.

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