A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• Sales tax revenues continue to climb with the August 2018 collections exceeding the same month for the previous year by nearly 20%. Year to date, 2018 sales tax revenues are 2.32% greater than they were at this time in 2017.
• We are excited to announce that work will begin soon on the bridge construction on Taylor School Rd. over Bob’s Creek. The low bid was submitted by Widel, Inc., and the work should be completed by the end of the year. This project is being paid for in part by an 80% Hazard Mitigation Grant from FEMA with the balance coming from local funds. This badly needed improvement should put an end to landowners in the immediate area being awakened at all hours of the night by folks who are stuck in the old creek crossing as well as eliminating a secluded area that has been a favorite hiding spot for drug activity and other illegal shenanigans through the years.
• If there is a silver lining to the cloud that was the 2015 Flood, it would be that, as a result of the disaster, the County was able to obtain a detailed inventory of pipes, box culverts, and small bridges that are not included in the Federal Highway BRO program. With this detailed information, our Road and Bridge staff has been able to identify a number of structures that will need to be systematically replaced. Preliminary engineering for these projects will get underway soon with construction anticipated to begin as early as next year.
• This week the Commission adopted an updated Floodplain Ordinance which included a number of clarifications of previous sections, some provisions as required by FEMA, as well as some new provisions. The most notable revision was a requirement to store hazardous chemicals at least 3’ above base flood elevation or in an appropriate, secured container if stored below that level. The overarching goal of the Ordinance is to protect life and property throughout the floodplain by mitigating hazards to the greatest extent possible through requiring the elevation of structures, responsible storage of hazardous chemicals, etc. The more we address this situation locally, the better prepared we are to deal with disasters, and to some degree, we can lessen our dependence on the Federal Government, particularly FEMA, during times of disaster. The debate surrounding the passage of this updated ordinance did bring to light a number of ongoing items which the Commission will have to continue working to address, not the least of which is the need for the Corps of Engineers to study the North and West forks of the Cuivre River and update the floodplain maps to reflect those findings.
That is all we have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…