Hancock County officials discuss Blanchard River flooding

Hancock County officials discuss Blanchard River flooding

FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - The price tag for Hancock County's flood-control options has nearly doubled after a shift in the project.

Wednesday community members had their first chance to learn about the alternatives available to them.

The Blanchard River is known for causing flooding that ruins the livelihood of several in Findlay and those across Hancock County. Solving the issue is something the mayor says is her number one priority.

"There are people's livelihoods that are at stake here in Findlay and Hancock County and this is something that we've been very diligent about pursuing," explained Lydia Mihalik, mayor of Findlay. "The federal option for funding was something that we needed to do because we owed it to our community to make that happen, but we got to a point where it just wasn't going to be feasible anymore."

Stantec presented three alternatives and recommended a large shift from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The first option includes hydraulic improvements along Blanchard River costing nearly $20 million and is able to be implemented quickly because funding is available.

The second option would take more time to implement, but includes three dry storage bins costing an estimated $140 million.

Both projects are recommended by Stantec who says their plan quadruples the benefit to the community.

"It will benefit a lot of people," said Scott Peyton, senior principal for Stantec. "But it also has impacts to certain property owners, to farmers and certain homeowners, that's a big deal the community has to decide if they want to take this on."

A third option was presented, but not recommended.

Gary Wilson is a farmer and was encouraged by the presentation, but thinks there is more work to be done.

"I think it was helpful for us hearing that there was more options than just the very very few that was given to us before," said Gary Wilson. "The basic conclusion that I have right now is that it is inducing flooding someplace else."

Stantec admitted plans are not finalized.

They plan to have a draft ready in April with a community review after.

Then the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District will create a plan.

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