By Brad Chatfield, Pierce County Council Communications Manager
A new governing body in Pierce County intended to protect lives and property from flooding begins its work on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The Flood Control Zone District’s first Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 23 and will continue the meeting on Nov. 29 at 1:30 p.m., both in the County-City Building (930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045) in Tacoma. Pierce County Councilmembers, who also are the district’s Board of Supervisors, created the district earlier this year to combat the damaging effects of flooding on our county’s businesses, transportation network and quality of life.
“From the family farmer in the Puyallup Valley, to the company trying to get its goods to market through the Port of Tacoma, to the employee just trying to get to work, flooding affects our entire county,” said Councilmember Joyce McDonald (District 2). “This is a countywide problem that’s been around for a long time, and we need a countywide approach to solve it.”
Adopted on May 4, ordinance 2010-16s was the first step in creating a special-purpose district to fund and build flood-control projects, such as maintaining existing levees or constructing new flood-hazard structures. The district also can spearhead such solutions as purchasing flood-prone properties. It can levy an assessment similar to a school or fire district that pays for the projects, but no assessment has been decided upon.
In just the past few years, significant floods have nearly closed Interstate 5 in Fife and impacted corners of the county from Mount Rainier to Orting and the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas. Nearly 12 percent of Pierce County’s assessed value lies in areas in danger of flooding, McDonald noted.
More information on the Flood Control Zone District and the county’s multi-phase plan to combat flooding, visit www.piercecountywa.org/flood.