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Silver Grove to Address Flood Rating & Other Notes

Cindy Minter of the Campbell County Planning & Zoning Commission presented to Silver Grove City Council on Thursday evening regarding the potential Land, Water & Conservation Grant Funding and what might take place if the grant is received. Namely, Minter mentioned a project involving the placement of screen gauges along Four Mile Creek as part of a five-year study to see what improvements can be made to it to reduce flooding.

Though it is a three-to-five-year plan according to Minter, it would come with a yearly price tag to Silver Grove, as the gauges have to be replaced each year. “We would anticipate some of the utility companies to be funding partners in it and we would look for contributions from private companies, as well. I would expect all of those players to come together for the local match,” Minter said.

Secondly, she addressed the city’s greatly-debated flood rating system, which is class nine. Currently, the rating gives Silver Grove a 5 percent discount on flood insurance but Minter told council she has been in conversation with the city’s FEMA coordinator regarding its rating and what they could do to boost the number and increase the discount percentage.

“The neighbors, Melbourne and the county, are both class 8 largely because of open spaces. Each has a significant amount of property that was within the 100-year flood zone that is in public control as open space. Silver Grove doesn’t have that luxury. I’ve had some very honest discussions, saying, ‘What’s it going to take to get us to the next level,’ and there are a couple of small items that we can do.”

What are those potential steps the city may take? Compensatory storage and free boarding. What is Compensatory storage? “If you put fill in, then you’re taking fill out someplace else. You can do a one-to-one ratio, a two-to-one ratio; you can do any kind of ratio you want. But if you’re putting dirt in, you’re taking dirt out someplace else in that watershed, so basically that water balances itself out,” Minter explained. “For example, if you have a site you want to build up, it’s a good place to develop if you want to build something there. But if you’ve got a hole over here that’s really of no value to you, you can make that hole bigger. You can take more dirt out of that and take credit for having that hole and then use that credit to fill someplace else. So it’s compensatory storage.”

What is free boarding? Using an example, Mayor Neal Bedel made the comparison of a house burning down. If it were rebuilt, the foundation would have to be an additional foot higher because it could not be rebuilt at its previous level. The Mayor later added that he wouldn’t have an issue with the free boarding but with “just about every decision we make, there’s pluses and minuses.”

Minter concluded the conversation by saying she did not want the city to do it if it did not ultimately improve the flood rating in the end.

Other Notes:

Resolution 16-0401 regarding the Land, Water and Conservation Fund passed, noting that the city will pay 50 percent of the grant if the city receives it, City Attorney Cameron Blau said.

Justin Verst of Viox & Viox engineering updated council on the company’s sidewalk plans for Silver Grove as it inches closer to putting a bow on the plans to send to Frankfort for the final seal of approval before it moves forward. Verst said their intentions were to move forward with the Four Mile section of the sidewalk and separate into two phases of the same project.

Issues surrounding the property owned by Scott Graham at 210 East Second Street have reached a near resolution. The city, its engineers, and Blau say that the issue was not caused by the city or the contractor and will not reimburse him the remaining $800-plus he was asking for.

Council members are concerned about a homeowner on East First Street and their unsupervised children running around the neighborhood and riding bicycles, in addition to a messy yard. They are afraid that the children will be struck by a vehicle sooner or later from stepping out into traffic.

There will be an open police committee meeting for all to attend on Thursday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. discussing the Campbell County Police Department’s time in Silver Grove. Citizens are welcome to input how they view the department’s work in the community since their initial presence in January. The meeting will take place at the city building, 308 Oak Street.

Written by Jason Finnell