3/5/14 – 4:53 A.M.

We got our answer about if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would pay for half of a flood study yesterday. The Corps has budgeted $1.5 million for the Blanchard River review. That’s half of the $3 million it will take to conduct the environmental review. The Hancock County Commissioners will pay the other half.

The county commissioners paid $400,000 so the environmental review could get started last fall. Work to identify things like endangered species habitats and wetlands is already done.

The final Army Corps flood-control plan for the Blanchard River is expected in 2015. The plan will then go to Congress in an attempt to get up to 65% of the funding for construction.

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3/3/14 – 4:59 A.M.

The city of Findlay continues to pursue discounts on flood insurance. Today’s Courier outlines the many issues that have held up the process. The issue becomes more urgent as flood insurance rates continue to climb. The discounts, if given, could mean a 5-45% break in price.

Several issues are holding up any chance to get the breaks in Findlay . Todd Richard is the city’s flood plain manager. He tells the newspaper he’s given FEMA every bit of information he can, but the agency wants more information. At times FEMA hasn’t responded to inquiries for months.

One of the bigger issues appears the be the Hunter’s Creek subdivision on the city’s east side. Findlay removed the subdivision from the flood plain map roughly 10 years ago, but it saw severe flooding in 2007. FEMA wants more information about soil type in the subdivision. The agency is also asking for compaction measurements.

MORE: The Courier

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2/21/14 – 5:26 A.M.

A bipartisan effort to secure flood mitigation funding continues. Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman along with Congressman Bob Latta wrote a joint letter to the Army Corps of Engineers to support funding the final phase of the current studies. This time around the trio stressed the economic issues caused by repeated flooding from the Blanchard River.

Portman said that northwestern Ohio “won’t be able to reach its full potential as long as the threat of flooding remains.” Brown added that the project would “help spur economic growth and protect the Findlay and Ottawa communities from devastating disasters.”

All three stressed that flooding is not just an issue for Findlay and Ottawa, but economically impacts a large part of Ohio.

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2/10/14 – 11:39 A.M.

Northwest Ohio means business when it comes to flood mitigation, quite literally as the case may be. That’s according to Hancock County Commissioner Brian Robertson, who recapped his recent trip to Washington D.C. to lobby for flood mitigation funding while on WFINat10 this morning. Robertson says he gets the impression that elected officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are understanding the local commitment to find a solution…

Audio: Brian Robertson

Robertson added that it’s becoming increasingly clear that flooding in Hancock County affects business in a much more widespread area…

Audio: Brian Robertson

Robertson says that when flooding shuts down parts of I-75, as it did in December, it also stops goods from being transported from around the nation. That affects not the just the region, but also the business operations of companies like Honda, which is Ohio’s largest employer.

Listen to the full interview with Commissioner Robertson here:

Check this out on Chirbit

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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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1/28/14 – 5:18 A.M.

Ohio’s elected officials in Washington D.C. are once again prodding the Army Corps of Engineers to fund the final part of the Blanchard River Flood study. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as Congressman Bob Latta all signed off on the letter that urges the Corps to follow the recommendations of the bipartisan Senate-House appropriations bill, which they say would benefit the mitigation project.

Senator Brown says flood control projects help spur economic growth and protect local communities. Senator Portman adds that the project is critical for the economic future of both Findlay and Ottawa.

The letter points out several ways in which the Blanchard River project fits within the standards and regulations set by the Corps.

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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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