State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said a third Flood Zone Coalition meeting was held July 24 in Ottawa following two previously successful meetings in which local officials have agreed to take a more regional and comprehensive approach to flood preparation and management.
Discussion on how to best prepare the region for future flooding continued and plans have begun to develop.
Sen. Rezin said the ongoing commitment of local officials to participate in a regional plan is encouraging.
“What we’re doing with these meetings ultimately benefits this entire area and the people who live in our communities,” she said. “We will continue these discussions about how to best plan and implement measures that will help us better prepare and respond to floods that occur. I couldn’t be more pleased at the ongoing interest and involvement that these meetings have produced and we will keep having them as long as they are needed.”
At the last meeting in April, a goal was set for the local officials to determine which buildings and areas in their towns or counties were most vulnerable to flooding. Those who attended said water treatment plants were one of the most vulnerable areas in their communities. Representatives from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said resources are available to help communities with the vulnerable areas. They also stressed that every $1.00 spent on mitigation saves taxpayers $4.00.
The goal for the next meeting is to set up a structure for the coalition. Sen. Rezin said she imagined it will serve as some sort of an advisory board for communities to receive information and assistance. In the meantime, officials will be working on floodplain management certification, utilizing resources available to them through various agencies and educating the public about floodplain management.