The Chickasha City Council accepted the Master Drainage Plan on Monday night.
The meeting was held via teleconference. There was a public hearing in which the public had the option of participating through Zoom.
The plan was initially presented during a work session on Dec. 7 by Smith Roberts Baldischwiler, LLC (SRB), an engineering company based in Oklahoma City. A public hearing concerning the plan was held on Jan. 4 at City Hall.
Engineers, Dan Andrulonis and Marc Long, of SRB, attended the teleconference council meeting on Feb. 15.
Andrulonis said most of the changes to the plan applied to the presentation of the plan rather than its contents, in order to make it more user friendly. He added that should the plan be adopted, SRB would continue to be available to address concerns moving forward.
The flood prevention plan is expected to address flooding in urbanized areas that are adjacent and upstream from Line Creek and Congo Creek. The study also looked at what areas of Chickasha are frequently closed during a flooding event.
The plan is a five-phase process. The cost of the plan is currently projected at $9 to 12 million. For each phase, Long presented several potential sources of funding, such as bond issues and federal grants.
Council member Kimmy Loggins asked what the plan is moving forward in order to gain funding in order to start the project.
Long advised the city to meet with their financial advisors to help form a strategy in order to meet the project’s multimillion price tag. He said a combination of available OWRB funds, potential hazard mitigation grant money and a general obligation bond issue could be leveraged in order to fund projects.
Long said he has enjoyed the public dialog and lengthly discussions with members of the community about the project.
Some council members did raise concerns about how some areas are prioritized in the study.
One area of the drainage study looks at streets that are heavily impacted by flooding.
Council member, R.P. Ashanti-Alexander said he was concerned that the area around Lincoln School was listed as “moderately critical” rather than “most critical.” He said after heavy rain, the area is often impossible to navigate. Moreover, Ashanti-Alexander asked why Henderson St., which also experiences heavy flooding, is currently listed in the fourth phase of the 5-phase plan.
Ashanti-Alexander said the east side of Chickasha has historically been given less consideration in studies to improve the City.
Long said all areas listed on areas of priority are critical. He said there were other factors besides the flooding itself that affected placement, such as the age of the storm sewer and how often the area is barricaded.
Andrulonis said based on Ashanti-Alexander’s input, the area could be moved up to higher priority, especially if it is impacting schools.
Long said all five phases can be run and worked concurrently, depending on how projects are bid and when funding is acquired.
Andrulonis said some of the projects are funding dependent. He said CBGD funding may be available. Andrulonis said he is willing to help with looking at sources of funding in addition to the engineering and technical aspects of the project.