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Flood damage not high enough to qualify Mendon for government aid

February 15th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Josh Ruggles

MENDON — The Feb. 9 City Council meeting focused on repair of damages caused by the flooding in January.

“It kind of makes you emotional to see so many people come together as a community and do what needed to be done,” said Mayor Ed Buist. “I think it went as well as it could have, considering the circumstances.”

The floods caused nearly $35,000 in damages, and the repairs will take time to be addressed, said Councilman Kelly Barrett. With that amount of damages, Mendon will not be able to rely upon any outside financial assistance. Getting financial aid on a state level requires $300,000 in damages, and to request federal funding the total repair cost must exceed $1 million.

“We do not have the resources to take care of all the damages now,” Barrett said. “The city has to take certain risks on what we will repair and what we can handle now.”

Mendon resident Gene Coleman said, “Some of the flooding could be prevented and should be dealt with by the city, especially areas in which the ditches are hindered and cause unnecessary flooding.

“We have this issue every year. At some point the city has to act on behalf of their citizens,” Coleman said.

The council unanimously agreed that one of the causes for the flooding was inadequate culverts under some resident’s driveways. “Small culverts will restrict water flow and cause water to bottleneck,” said Buist.

“Some of the culverts out there are only a few inches in diameter and don’t let nearly enough water through. That is something we will have to address over time,” Buist said.

Kirk Taylor, director of public works, headed containment of the flooding and thinks the flooding has come to a stop and it is necessary to begin cleaning up sandbags and repairing what they can. “A lot of the bags are already starting to deteriorate, I think we should start figuring out when to get everything cleaned up,” Taylor said.

Sandbag cleanup will be taking place at the end of February and Taylor said people are welcome to take sandbags for personal use if they need them.


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