Meeting highlights levees' weakness
In the event of a flood, significant sections of levees in Colusa could fail, the Colusa City Council was told at a special workshop for the Mid & Upper Sacramento River Regional Flood Management Plan on Jan. 7.
Consultant Barry O'Reegan told the council the cost to fix those levees exceeds $50 million. Colusa likely already has funding for about 90 percent of that — but even the $5 million or so left over was outside the city's budget, council members said.
The Mid & Upper Sacramento River Regional Flood Management Plan is a collabor tion of a number of organizations throughout the counties of Glenn, Yolo, Tehama, Lake, Butte, Sutter, and Colusa. The group is geared toward developing a flood management plan, to be completed by the end of 2014, that best reflects the local vision for flood risk reduction.
"Since (the Colusa City Council is) an entity that grants building permits, they needed to be aware of the state regulations and what impact FEMA mapping will have on potential future plans for growth," Kim Floyd, the group's public outreach coordinator, said. "Part of what we wanted to do at the meeting was to inform the Council of challenges they may be facing the coming years, especially regarding the FEMA mapping."
Council members asked Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter whether the city and county would be able to tackle the issue together.
"I think it's truly a regional issue, so it's going to take a regional approach to get it," Mayor Greg Ponciano said. "It's a pretty daunting task, and it's going to take more than the city to address it.
"I'm trying to look at the bright side," he added. "If there is levee work to be done on the levee that borders the city, I think it presents opportunites to help move things along with the riverfront district."
Councilwoman Marylin Acree said the council — and the community — must be kept informed.
"Obviously, it's critical for us to be partners with people who are already involved," she aid. "It's a pivotal time for the community; it's important that we stay in tune with the other players in this."
Carter said a plan to fix the deficiencies identified in the levees was vital.
"What we really need to do is get our plan together, figure out what our deficiencies are, and develop what we need to do to get that 100-year flood protection," she said. "It's going to take a lot of time, energy and dollars to get this going."