Pictured is part of Ottawa during the 2007 flood. The Tentatively Selected Plan will be released by late May or early June.
OTTAWA -Steve Wilson, Hancock County Flood Mitigation Liaison, reported by the end of May or first of June, the Army Corps of Engineers should be ready to release the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) information unless the federal government's sequestration bogs it down.Wilson reported on the meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo Feb. 19 through 20, where he was accompanied by Jason Phillips, Asst. Municipal Director for Village of Ottawa. Wilson said it was a good meeting which puts the committee one step closer to the TSP.
TSP is the second decisional milestone during the feasibility study. A TSP is where the Vertical Team agrees on the Project Delivery Team's (PDT) recommendation of a tentatively selected plan and proposed way forward on developing sufficient cost and design information for the final feasibility study report.
The project was discussed for eight hours with The Buffalo District, Cincinnati Division, and Washington, D.C. Headquarters. This demonstrated the new 3x3x3 concept of the Army Corps of Engineers, dealing with all three levels of the organization at once, instead of having the district pass it on to the division and then on to headquarters.
On March 21, Wilson, Phillips, and the Mike Pniewski, Army Corps representative, traveled to Defiance to meet with Lynn Army, District Mgr. of the Maumee Conservancy District. They discussed the future role of the Maumee Conservancy District with the flood mitigation project. Conservancy districts were initially created for flood control, and the current local sponsor of the project, the Hancock County Commissioners would like to hand over the reigns to an entity that has the unique qualifications for flood control projects.
Wilson said that the Hancock County Commissioners will need to talk with the Ottawa Township Trustees regarding the I-9 Bridge area and the possibility of the memorandum of understanding with the Army Corps of Engineers that would allow reconstruction of that bridge approach. Ottawa Township has jurisdiction over Rd. I-9. Gene Hovest, Ottawa Village council member asked about the timeline. Wilson noted that he could start on the memorandum of understanding when the TSP is released and that he thought it could move forward prior to the Chief's Report being filed.
Jack Williams, Municpal Director of Ottawa, stated that he has long been a proponent of slowing down water draining to the Blanchard River. With new development, Ottawa has required detention areas for properties such as Wal-Mart, Advance Auto, ESC Center, and the new Ottawa Elementary School. The Army Corps of Engineers has indicated that flooding in Ottawa is an issue of timing, allowing the peak from the Riley Creek to get through the Village before the peak comes down the Blanchard from Findlay. Williams mentioned that slowing the drainage may also allow some phosphorus from fertilizers to settle into soil and not be carried to the streams and lakes to create algae bloom. So there could be a water quality bonus for slowing the water to the river.