City, county discuss flooding, rock shop
Madras and Jefferson County officials met Nov. 28, to discuss joint projects, including a flood mitigation project, the potential purchase of a blighted property, and the report on a merger between the Jefferson County Fire Department and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services.
City Administrator Gus Burril said that the city had contacted the Army Corps of Engineers a couple years ago to remap the city's flood zones. During the remapping process, the Corps found that the J Street bridge had narrowed the flood plain and created the potential for water to back up over McTaggart Road in a major flooding event.
"Now that we're aware of the problem, with the county, we're trying to figure out how to mitigate the problem," said Burril, adding that the city has hired a civil engineering firm, Murraysmith Inc., of Portland.
The firm has come up with four options, including the original plan to add a berm, which would not be sufficient for Federal Emergency Management Agency standards; a plan to add an additional culvert for flow through the road area, with additional berm work; additional bridge work and a berm; or raise and widen the bridge.
"We've entered into an IGA (intergovernmental agreement) with the county," said Burril. "We're wanting to correct it as soon as we can. It requires a permitting process around the stream."
The mitigation plan will be designed to accommodate a 100-year flood event. The last major flood was in 2005, and prior to that, in the 1960s, he said. "Our plan is to mitigate before the map is finished."
The city will hold a community meeting when it determines what type of intervention will be the best and most cost-effective.
Old rock shop
Burril reported that the city is working on a purchase agreement for the old rock shop on U.S. Highway 26, above Jefferson Street.
The .46-acre property is owned by the Internal Revenue Service, which also wants the city to purchase four other properties it owns in the area, totalling nearly 2 1/2 acres.
"The federal District Court of Oregon appointed a realty company to dispose of the property," said Burril.
With assistance from the county, the city hopes to clean the property up, abate asbestos contamination, and eventually enlist the Jefferson County Fire Department to use it as a "burn to learn" property.
Fire department, EMS merger
In September, the Jefferson County Fire Department and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services met to discuss a draft report from Matrix Consulting Group, which had been hired in March to conduct a consolidation feasibility study.
County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen said that they reviewed the draft report and had a conference call on Oct. 31. "We're still waiting for them to continue to revise the draft," he said, adding that he and Fire Chief Brian Huff will begin working with the GIS department to begin to figure out what a combined district would include.
"Everyone's waiting for the report to come out," Huff said.