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Blanchard flood mitigation getting more state money


August 22. 2013 4:52PM
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OTTAWA — During a town hall meeting in Ottawa Wednesday afternoon, legislators said another $3 million from the state will be provided for Blanchard River flood mitigation.The meeting, at the Putnam County YMCA, was hosted by state Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, state Rep. Lynn Watchman, R-Napoleon, and state Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, to reveal the results of a survey they conducted recently pertaining to flood mitigation. Hite said money has been committed in the mid-annual budget review. The state originally committed $3 million in three consecutive biannual budgets, but only the first $3 million was appropriated.Sprague, Hite and Wachtman worked together to secure additional funding for the mitigation. The original funding got the ball rolling and led the Army Corps of Engineers to begin studying the problem. Sprague said the money will become available July 1. Although the money is not specifically earmarked it will be used for another phase of the Blanchard River flood mitigation project.“We still want to work to obtain the additional $3 million that was originally committed,” Hite said.“This is an important issue that can only be solved if we all work together — local, state and federal officials need to make this a priority,” Wachtman said.His words were later echoed by Hite, who said it was important to have a united front when asking for state and federal funds.Wachtman said while the Putnam County commissioners may not have money to help with the mitigation project, it was important that they show their full support for the project, which Wachtman said was a regional issue, not just an Ottawa issue.“Over half the homes I worked in to help with flooding problems in 2007 were not even in Ottawa,” he said.The Putnam County commissioners recently denied providing any county funding toward the flood mitigation project. Voting to deny the funding were commissioners Travis Jerwers and Vincent Schroeder. Following the meeting Jerwers said he was glad to hear the resolution was being viewed as a regional problem.“I'm pleased the Army Corps is seeing this as a regional problem. I know the people want to make sure all their concerns are taken into account,” Jerwers said.Survey results show that 40 percent of the nearly 850 responses hold local officials to a high level of accountability for resolving the problem. Thirty-five percent felt it should be a shared expense. Hite said the results for state and federal were similar with 36 percent holding the federal government to a high level of responsibility.The survey also found that 89 percent of the respondents felt flood mitigation was still a priority to the community.






  1. Blanchard flood mitigation getting more state money


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