A public meeting to discuss the Findlay impact of the Stantec engineering firm’s flood-control proposals will be held at 6 p.m. May 24 at Winebrenner Theological Seminary Auditorium, 950 N. Main St., Findlay.
The meeting will be the third in a series to be hosted by the Hancock County commissioners and the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District.
A meeting to discuss the impact of the proposal on Mount Blanchard and Delaware Township will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at Riverdale High School, 20613 Ohio 37, Mount Blanchard.
A meeting on the impact to Eagle Township will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the maintenance garage of the Hancock County Engineer’s Office, 1900 Lima Ave.
Proposed improvements to the river channel through Findlay would cost about $20 million, according to Stantec’s plan. The bulk of that expense, about $18.8 million, would be spent to cut “benches” into the river’s banks, and to widen the supports of the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge as it crosses the river.
Benches would be cut into about 2,000 feet of the Blanchard River’s banks between the railroad bridge and Broad Avenue. The benches would widen the river and increase its capacity.
Officials must still negotiate with the railroad about modification or replacement of its bridge, which is about 90 years old.
Stantec’s recommendations also include plans to remove four low dams from the river that were installed in the early 1900s, when the river was straightened, to pool water for aesthetics. This work would cost $1 million.
The dam at Riverside Park would be spared.
The Stantec recommendation also calls for construction of large “dry storage” basins for floodwater, upstream of Findlay. The basins would be along the Blanchard River, along Eagle Creek, and along a tributary of the river known as Potato Run, just south of Mount Blanchard.
In all, Stantec’s recommended plan would cost an estimated $160 million, twice the cost of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed Eagle Creek diversion channel. At a public meeting Feb. 22, Stantec said it would not recommend the Army Corps’ proposed diversion channel.
However, that channel, with some modifications, is still a possibility.
Last year, the Hancock County commissioners hired Stantec to evaluate the corps’ flood-control study, which was begun after the devastating 2007 flood. The engineering firm, headquartered in Canada, employs a workforce of about 300 in Ohio.