6/9/16 – 10:57 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners addressed two flood mitigation issues during their Thursday meeting. First, the county will enter into negotiations with Stantec Consulting Services to draw up a feasibility study for Blanchard River flood mitigation options. At the same time, the county is authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to share information with Stantec so the planning process can begin.

The commissioners also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District. The agreement sets up the eventual transfer of responsibilities to the district in overseeing the feasibility study.

Commissioner Phil Riegle says Stantec will examine all mitigation options. He says the company has, “no allegiance to any project.” Commissioner Mark Gazarek says while the county could still go back to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to spearhead mitigation efforts, it’s “not likely” at this point.

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03/06/15     2:05 p.m.

Hancock County Comissioners Mark Gazarek, Phil Riegle and Brian Robertson take questions from attendees following their Hancock County update

Hancock County Commissioners Mark Gazarek, Phil Riegle and Brian Robertson take questions from attendees following their Hancock County update

At the First Friday luncheon, local republicans got an update on flood mitigation during a Hancock County update Friday afternoon. Commissioner Mark Gazarek said that when he took office flood mitigation was a huge frustration for him.

Audio: Mark Gazarek

Since Lt. Col. Karl Jansen took over the Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District command in June, Gazarek said the commissioners have been very pleased with the progress that has been made. They believe that he has done more than just talk about getting things done, but made himself present in the area and proved that this is his priority.

Audio: Mark Gazarek

The commissioners are expecting the Army Corps to be back in Findlay at the end of April. They will hold public meetings to discuss the tentative plan, as well as the feasibility and environmental impact studies.

In the meantime, Gazarek said the Corps is continuing to work on the tentative plan and the county is still buying flood-prone properties in the area.

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11/14/14     1:58 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers presented their tentative plan for flood mitigation today. While some area residents were skeptical, the Corps insisted that discussion was key and plans are still changing.

Click on each image to see a larger version.

All images provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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11/14/14     1:22 p.m.

Emotions ran high during this morning’s press conference with the Army Corps of Engineers. Having released their tentative flood mitigation plan, the Corps fielded questions and concerns from the public about this plan, but for county commissioner Brian Robertson the important thing was there was two-way dialogue.

Audio: Brian Robertson

Robertson said we need to build off the momentum and plans and get something done, unlike the generation from 1962 who faced with the same problem did not act on the Army Corps plans.

Audio: Brian Robertson

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11/14/14     12:38 p.m.

For Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik, the Army Corps of Engineers press conference on the tentative flood mitigation plan was a productive discussion with residents. She said it’s nice to finally be at the point of discussion, but it’s still going to take more time.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik said at this point, residents have to trust the experts and let the process run its course.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

The key to this project’s success in the mayor’s eyes is discussion. She said residents asking questions and officials listening and having answering ready will help keep things on the right track.

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11/14/14     12:33 p.m.

This morning’s press conference on the tentative flood mitigation plan shed some light on a number of things not only for residents, but for those presenting the information as well.

Audio: Karl Jansen

Lt. Col. Karl Jansen of the Army Corps of Engineers said the meeting gave him ideas of what to work on for the future.

Audio: Karl Jansen

In the spring of 2015, the Army Corp will release a detailed version of the flood mitigation plan. Jansen said this plan will be released to the public and can be used as a reference for future discussion.

Following the release, Jansen and other members of the Corps will return to Findlay to hold more public discussion and question and answer sessions.

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2/6/14 10:35 a.m.
Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik was part of a local contingent to Washington D.C. to lobby for flood mitigation. She spoke with Chris Oaks on Good Mornings this morning about her trip..

Audio:  Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik and other officials went to D.C. to lobby for part of an $8 million Omnibus spending bill set aside for flood studies across the U.S. Mayor Mihalik was asked about the growing frustration among residents who are growing weary of throwing more money toward studies to which she said pushing ahead and following the Corps’ protocol is good for Findlay..

Audio:  Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik said having the will to move forward and not stopping is imperative especially with the announcement of the $80 million investment Marathon plans for downtown Findlay.

 

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2/3/14 3:15 p.m.
Mayor Lydia Mihalik commented on the relentless winter weather that has a grip on the region and how much of a burden it places on the city’s budget. She commented on WFIN@Ten this morning..

Audio:  Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik said the winter hasn’t busted the budget yet but if the city continues to get pounded by winter weather it could be a problem. Mihalik also talked about a trip to Washington D.C. along with Hancock County Commissioner Brian Robertson and Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Chief, Tony Iriti, to make a pitch once again for Blanchard River flood study money..

Audio:  Lydia Mihalik

The group will meet with the Army Corps of Engineers and different committee members within the House and the Senate to make sure the Blanchard River is part of that allocation and complete the last phase of the feasibility study.

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1/27/14 – 5:34 A.M.

Ottawa is getting more money from FEMA to help buy flood prone properties. The agency announced late last week it was releasing more than $746,000 to the village to help buy and tear down structures that are often damaged when the Blanchard River floods.

The funds will pay for about 75% of the ongoing project. The remaining $248,000 will be paid for by Ottawa and the state of Ohio.

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