Senator: $1.5M needed for Blanchard River flood control

April floods plague Findlay residents almost every year.

Flooding isn't anything new to Findlay residents and business owners, much like the promise of mitigation plans for the Blanchard River.

But Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) has introduced a new amendment with hopes of winning the federal funds needed to complete the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Project.

â??This is about ending an arbitrary waiting game for important projects like the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project,â?? Sen. Brown said in a statement. â??The Ottawa and Findlay communities have invested time and valuable financial resources into getting this project underway, and itâ??s critical that the U.S. Army Corps continue to do the same by providing the appropriate funds for its completion. This amendment would quicken that process.â??

Without this amendment, Brown says the mitigation project would not be eligible to receive federal construction funds from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers until the next Water Resources Development Act authorization. Prior to the current water resources bill, the Senate last considered a WRDA bill in 2007.

An estimated $1.5 million is needed to continue the study phase of the mitigation project.

"In 2007, flooding of the Blanchard River caused approximately $70 million worth of damage to homes and businesses in Ottawa and Findlay," Sen. Brown said last month. "There's no denying the importance of this flood mitigation projectâ??which is why these communities have demonstrated a strong financial commitment to it, and why I have continually pushed the Army Corps of Engineers to work quickly and thoroughly to advance subsequent steps of the project. This was a productive and positive meeting, and I will be sure to relay the Coalitionâ??s concerns to the Army Corps of Engineers."