OTTAWA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has recently announced a public meeting that will be held on Monday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 9 a.m. The locations of the meeting is tentatively set for the Ottawa-Glandorf High School auditorium and the Putnam County ESC however officials would like to confirm the availability of the sites.With the public invited to both meetings, those in attendance will be presented what the army corps has determined to be the most viable plan for flood mitigation in Ottawa and Putnam County. Information on structural impediments in the river, such as the I-9 bridge area and "non-structural measures," such as the purchase of properties that have suffered repeated flooding are expected to be announced. According to project manager, Mike Pniewski with the USACOE, some very rough cost estimates will also be discussed.
Currently, the village has removed 39 substantially damaged housing units throughout Ottawa thanks to FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) with a cost of over $650,000. The village has spent only $25,000 with the rest being paid for with federal funds. Recently, the village has submitted a full application for HMGP to purchase nine additional structures and a pre-application for eight additional structures.
After the August 2007 flood that devastated Ottawa, the mayor appointed the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Coalition Steering Committee to lead flood mitigation efforts for Ottawa. The group continues to meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. at the Putnam County Education Service Center located at 124 Putnam Parkway in Ottawa. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings as the USACOE is looking for input with the current flood mitigation studies. Members of the steering committee include: Bob Fawcett, Clyde Schroeder and Nick Schroeder with Gene Hovest and Deb Bauer representing the Ottawa Village Council. Jeff Loehrke, Ottawa's Community Development Director facilitates the committee's activities.
The Monday evening meeting is set to happen prior to a regularly scheduled village council meeting, therefore the council meeting will be held directly following the public meeting.