Chehalis Basin Flood Control District to consider applications for advisory team

13 applications from individuals

By Justyna Tomtas

The Chronicle

The board of supervisors for the Chehalis Basin Flood Control Zone District will consider 13 applications from individuals who want to be part of the district’s advisory team.

The supervisors, which consist of commissioners Gary Stamper, Edna Fund and Bobby Jackson, said they would look over the applications and discuss qualifications further at a work session scheduled for Aug. 23.

“I’m very heartened to see this many people respond and want to be on this advisory committee,” Fund said.

Supervisors will try to appoint individuals from different geographical areas. Applicants were from Centralia, Chehalis, Curtis and Pe Ell.

The board also gave Erik Martin, the administrator of the FCZD and the county public works director, approval to move forward with a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would establish and fund a position that would work on the national environmental policy act for a proposed dam near Pe Ell. The person would also coordinate with the state Department of Ecology on the state environmental policy act.

The person would expedite the process, Martin said, as Ecology prepares an environmental impact statement on the proposed dam.

The board of supervisors still has to decide on one of three options for the dam. Those include a flood retention only facility that allows water to flow through the dam, a flood retention and flow augmentation dam that would create a permanent reservoir, and a hybrid version. The third option would be the same as the flood retention-only dam, but it would be built on a larger footprint, which would allow the facility to be expanded in the future if need be.

Supervisor Fund favored the hybrid version, while Stamper requested more information on maintenance costs before making a recommendation. According to Martin, the FRO and the hybrid version would have similar maintenance costs, while the FRFA would cost more. A decision was not made.

Although the board of supervisors are the project sponsor of the dam, it has yet to be determined who will own and maintain the dam after its construction, if it occurs.

The primary focus of the flood control zone district is to implement the Chehalis Basin Strategy, which proposed four alternatives to reduce flooding, one of which was a water retention facility.

According to Kirk Holmes, the director of Perteet, one of the purposes of the flood control zone district is to protect public health, safety and welfare.

From 1996 to 2016, Lewis County had 13 presidential disaster declarations, according to Holmes. Flooding in the area has resulted in an average annual loss over $2.1 million.

The board of supervisors’ next meeting is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 13 on the second floor of the county courthouse.