By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Town Creek is now “in the banks” according to the latest flood plain map.
The new map is a revised version of the one presented at the public hearing held in Coffeeville on Aug. 27 which placed a number of additional homes and businesses in the flood plain, particularly in the Central Street area.
That map did not reflect flood control work performed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Mayor Larry Hart told Aldermen at the regular meeting of the City Board on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
“We are very, very fortunate to have that happen,” Hart said of the revisions. “We were able to talk with the engineering company that prepared these maps and found out they had not taken into account the two holding dams we have built; doubling the size of the box culvert coming through the city; and all the bank stabilization we have done.”
“When they revisited it, they got the flood plain back into the banks,” Hart explained. “So, from north end all the way down to somewhere about the Sonic is no longer in the flood plain. The water is in the creek banks.”
Hart said that he had also asked about the four holding dams that were built on Otoucalofa creek about the same time as the two north of town. The Mayor was told that those four dams didn’t affect the flood plain in the southern part of town because it is a backwater plain related to Enid Lake.
Alderman Bobby Cox asked if the changes affected Johnson Creek.
“No,” Hart answered, “It has a flood plain of its own.”
The revised flood plain map is good news since flood insurance is required for most mortgages if the home or business is located in a high risk area.
“A lot of the energies that went into our work and improvements have finally paid off in relation to insurance,” Hart said.
“And, hopefully we won’t flood.”
Among other actions at the Oct. 6 meeting, the Board of Aldermen:
• Approved Saturday, Dec. 5, as the date for the annual Water Valley Christmas Parade at the request of J. C. Womble, Christmas Parade Chairman for the Tri-Lake Fairgrounds Association. The next Saturday, Dec. 12, was approved as the rain date.
• Agreed to purchase ten cemetery lots at $150 each for a total of $1500, the price for which they were bought from the City. The original purchaser no longer needed the lots and the City is in need of the space in the cemetery, Hart said.
• Authorized Mayor Hart to contact the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to request assistance in finalizing the assessment of the area around the Big Yank building.
Hart explained that three studies were done in that area and it was determined that there is some kind of contaminate underground. “It is my understanding we ran out of money before we were able to complete the total assessment of that situation.”
• Declared several items of City property surplus including three vehicles, a portable generator and a transformer.
• Entered into the minutes that City Clerk Vivian Snider completed mandatory municipal clerk training.
All five members of the City Board were present at the 16-minute meeting. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 6:30 in the boardroom at City Hall.