By DENISE GRANT
DEFIANCE — The public will get its first look Tuesday at the Stantec engineering firm’s review of its Blanchard River flood-control recommendations.
Following a meeting of the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District board Tuesday morning, Stantec’s 100-page draft report will be released to the public. The report will be available online at www.hancockcountyflooding.com.
The board meets at 9 a.m. at its Defiance office, 1464 Pinehurst Drive.
Due to space and time concerns, Steve Wilson, project manager for the conservancy district, said he will give the board only a “brief summary” of the draft report at its meeting Tuesday.
While the board meeting is public, Wilson said the meeting will not be a full hearing on the Stantec review. He said the report will be released online first, and a decision on whether a hearing is needed will be made after Stantec finalizes the review.
Wilson said there will be no hard copies of the review distributed to the public at Tuesday’s meeting. Those interested will be directed to the website, he said.
In September 2017, the Hancock County commissioners agreed to pay $375,000 to have Stantec review its proposed flood-control recommendations, after rural landowners began protesting the plan.
Along with its proposal to widen the river in Findlay, a project which is going ahead, Stantec had proposed construction of three floodwater storage basins in southern Hancock County, a project that could cost $140 million. The basin idea has met with opposition from landowners in those areas.
Stantec was asked to review its basin recommendations using a new rainfall model, which more closely reflects a modern trend toward frequent and severe flooding in northwestern Ohio. The use of aerial photography was also expected to provide a more accurate description of the area’s topography.
Stantec said the re-evaluation would provide additional information for planning, and would include refined flood maps and an updated benefit-to-cost ratio for its proposals.
Stantec said the review would give side-by-side comparisons with its original report, including:
- Total estimated acreage within the proposed floodwater basins.
- Estimated inundated acreage in the basins during a 100-year flood.
- Estimated number of parcels impacted.
- Estimated number of residences impacted.
- Estimated number of parcels removed from the regulatory flood plain if the basins are constructed.
- Estimated acreage removed from the 100-year flood plain if the basins are built.
- A revised estimate of construction costs.