The timeline for completion of the Studies needed in order to ask for federal funding for flood control in Findlay and Ottawa has been pushed back another two years (2014). My frustration and disappointment is focused on the fact that, between the US Army Corps of Engineers, local officials, and our local “flood expert” no one seems able to communicate a reliable and understandable timeline of studies that need to be completed. If you compare that the timeline put out by the Northwest Ohio Flood Mitigation Partnership (Partnership) in June of 2008 and the document handed out at the Legislative Day on Monday (April 25, 2011) by the Hancock County Engineer, there is no consistency between even the names of the studies that need to be completed.
After sitting through the Legislative Day meeting, it became painfully clear that, despite the honest efforts and hard work of many, there is no “one person” at the local level coordinating and driving forward the Findlay and Ottawa efforts to fix our flooding issues. No one is mapping a realistic timeline, setting mile stones and making sure, in a proactive manner, that federal funding is in place to meet the demands of our flood control efforts. Based on the questions asked by our local officials, I believe it is safe to say that our efforts to drive forward Flood Control for the Blanchard River are in disarray.
The Partnership set out to be the force to move the flood issue forward but they got side-tracked and dug their heels in on the Blanchard River Conservancy District. When The Partnership failed to get their way on the conservancy district issue they simply folded up their tent, declared victory, and left the flood controls job unfinished.
So here we are, 4 years after the flood of 2007, and our local officials are still dazed and confused on how to make flood controls happen and we are left to ask who is going to step forward to get this job done.
Northwest Ohio Flood Mitigation Partnership Timeline: http://www.floodpartnership.org/media/Timeline_5-13-09.pdf
Legislative Day April 25 ,2011 Handout: http://www.thecourier.com/pdfs/StatusReport.pdf