Council to review flood-proofing programThe city of Woodbury is looking to make things right with some Wilmes Lake residents who fought the rising tide of Wilmes Lake in during a significant rainfall event on Oct. 4, 2005.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
The city of Woodbury is looking to make things right with some Wilmes Lake residents who fought the rising tide of Wilmes Lake in during a significant rainfall event on Oct. 4, 2005.
On July 9, the Woodbury City Council will review a proposal from city staff to adopt a resolution that designates some properties in the Wilmes Lake basin as flood susceptible.
The council will also review a proposal to enact a flood relief grant program that aims to provide flood-proofing assistance to residents who may be potentially affected by flooding following a major rainfall.
The flood relief grant program will provide homeowners who qualify with cost-shared engineering and design consultation and financial assistance to flood proof their properties. The city will split the cost of the program with the South Washington County Watershed District.
According to a engineering staff report on the issue, the city has spent more than $1 million in an overall response plan to the storm event.
The city first proposed implementing a flood relief grant program last fall after several discussions with residents in Wilmes Lake who were affected by the event, during which several inches of rain fell in a few hours.
Some residents expressed frustration with the plan and felt more structural improvements around the lake should be made. City staff said such improvements would have minimal effect on Wilmes Lake in the event of a future rainfall event of the same intensity.
This spring, city staff and council members organized meetings with residents who formed the Wilmes Lake Workgroup to gain feedback on the proposed flood-proofing program.
“The residents had some concern about getting started on these some of the engineering costs and design work,” Woodbury City Council member Mary Giuliani Stephens said. “I think what we came out with is a fair program.”
The flood-proofing program is not restricted to the Wilmes Lake area, said Klayton Eckles, deputy director for Woodbury Public Works.
“There’s at least eight homes near Wilmes Lake that would most likely fit the criteria, but there’s another 50 homes around town that would potentially qualify for the program,” Eckles said.
If the council votes to enact the program it will form a oversight committee that will determine how much assistance each homeowner will get based on conditions of the property related to potential flooding in the event of a significant rainfall event.
The committee is proposed to be comprised of one city council member, one member of the watershed district and one city staff member.
City administrator Clint Gridley said the committee will also determine cost sharing percentages for individual homeowners who apply for flood-proofing assistance.
“Our belief is that there needs to be some level of cost participation with this program,” Gridley said. “There will be some criteria involved and one of those will be depending on how close you are to the 100-year flood elevation.”
Gridley said that resident who participate in the program would also be required to sign a waiver releasing the city of any liability associated with the work or any future legal action.
The council is expected to the review and vote on the proposed flood-proofing program at its July 9 meeting, 7:30 p.m. at Woodbury City Hall.