Councilmen to introduce resolution to reduce flooding in area
By Kathy Feist
To help businesses and residents from future flooding, Sixth District Councilmemebers Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus announced a resolution Tuesday (see below) that they will introduce to the City Council on Thursday.
The resolution directs City Manager Troy Schulte to work with regional partners in a comprehensive approach that will decrease the negative impact of flooding along Indian Creek and Blue River corridor. This includes voluntary acquisition of property–both commercial and residential– in both flood-prone areas.
Taylor said after the recent flood he drove through the area with the Kansas City Police Department’s South Patrol.
“Small businesses were impacted. Residents and homes were impacted,” he said. “Lives were changed forever.”
“There were many heartbreaking stories,” he said.
He said the August 22nd flood was different from the one on July 27, and called for “a new approach.”
He said he would like to see a “one-stop shop” where KC BizCare and the Economic Development Corporation could help existing businesses with strategy and relocation. He said already two businesses have moved up the street on 103rd St. and another to 18th & Vine.
Taylor said that on Friday, August 25, he called on the city to expedite services dealing with flooded businesses trying to reopen or relocate.
McManus emphasized the flooding was a regional issue. “The rain doesn’t just start in Johnson County and stop at State Line,” he said.
Schulte is seeking financial aid through a Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which would cover up to 90 percent of property acquisition costs. The City has successfully used voluntary acquisition strategy before in areas near Brush Creek, Blue River and Indian Creek.
The multi-jurisdictional effort would likely include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, Mid-America Regional Council, the Missouri counties of Jackson and Cass, and Johnson County, Ks.
“We need to seek solutions from a regional perspective, since the Indian Creek and the Blue River encompass multiple cities, regions, and states,” Taylor said.
The Draft of the Resolution reads:
Directing the City Manager to engage with regional partners to develop and recommend a comprehensive strategy aimed at decreasing the negative impact of flooding along the Indian Creek and Blue River corridor.
WHEREAS, the Council recognizes that flooding has a catastrophic impact on business and homes in Kansas City resulting in loss of life and property, creating health and safety hazards, disrupting commerce and governmental services, and demanding extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief;
WHEREAS, the Council wants to take a proactive approach to find ways to lessen the devastating impact that flooding causes in many parts of our community; and
WHEREAS, effective and efficient flood control measures aimed at identifying risks as well as means to improve mitigation efforts will protect the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of the Kansas City; and
WHEREAS, a concerted effort among public and private entities may decrease or eliminate the potential for future disasters like those that have taken place this year as a result of the flooding; and
WHEREAS, the Council recognizes that any flood control plan or strategy must be formulated and implemented within existing legal requirements and regulations as well as approved technical and engineering frameworks and guidelines; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:
Section 1. That the City Manager is hereby directed to engage with regional partners, including but not limited to, MARC, FEMA, Corps of Engineers, Jackson and Cass counties in Missouri, Johnson County, Kansas, and other public and private sector stakeholders to develop and recommend a comprehensive strategy to reduce or eliminate the destructive results that flooding causes along the Indian Creek and Blue River corridor in Kansas City.
Section 2. That the City Manager shall submit a Report to Council within six months with recommendations, resources needed, and a time line for completion of the plan.