By MICHELLE AMOUR | Editor-in-chief
PELHAM – At the December 20 meeting, Pelham City Council approved a resolution for consideration to approve a hydraulic and drainage modeling study for all of the city’s stream basins.
The resolution was proposed in response to the October 6 flood that caused severe damage throughout the Shelby County area, including the entire town of Pelham. Pelham’s planning and engineering director Andre Bittas explained that the study is a preventative way to analyze what can be done to prevent future flood damage.
In the field of water resources engineering, hydrological and hydraulic modeling is a commonly used tool to assess the benefits of proposed improvements. A combined hydrological / hydraulic model allows engineers and planners to assess the impacts of various improvement scenarios and the benefits these scenarios would bring.
The study is expected to last a year, cost approximately $ 415,000, and would be fully funded by the city. Kimley Horn, a civil engineering firm, was selected to do this work, and she will survey all stream basins to identify areas that need attention and improvement.
“The study will identify specific projects and actions to achieve the defined objectives and goals of the study,” Bittas said. “The study will also give priority to recommended projects and actions and classify them into short, medium and long term plans. These recommendations will be presented to the mayor and city council for consideration. The implementation of one or more projects will be based on the availability of funding (local and / or federal).
Additional funding would be required to complete these projects once identified. Bittas said the funding will be project specific and the Town of Pelham will pursue local and federal funding to implement these projects. The study will also identify state and federal grants and programs applicable to this type of project.
“This is definitely a touching issue for so many people and residents who have been affected,” Chairman of the Board Maurice Mercer said at the December 20 meeting. “As leaders conscientiously elected to provide answers and propose solutions – you know, by profession, I am in the business world and not in the engineering world. I have to turn to the data, to someone else for advice.
Mercer added that he has confidence in all of the teams involved in the project to execute the plan effectively and in the best interest of the city.
“The cost is significant, but we have to do something now,” he said. “Now is the time to make a decision to see if there is anything we can do.”
Council member Mildred Lanier echoed Mercer’s feelings about the project, citing that he would help city officials better assess flood and drainage issues down the line.
“We have to do something and we trust our professionals,” she said. “Once that study has been reviewed, we can go into it and set priority goals based on what is found. “
The resolution was adopted by a three-to-two vote.