City updates surface water plan

MARYSVILLE If you live or operate a business in the city and have, or even have had, drainage or flooding problems, local officials want to hear all about it.
An engineer for the city dealing with surface water issues, Kari Chennault said officials are in the midst of updating a six-year plan designed to deal with storm water problems. As part of that update, Marysville is asking residents or business and property owners to take part in a survey about drainage and flooding issues.
Were trying to get details from citizens about where the problems are, Chennault said.
Posted on the citys Web site, the survey consists of seven questions related to flooding or drainage problems. Residents can leave their names and contact information or remain anonymous.
The questions are pretty much what you would expect: Have you experienced flooding at your address, whether that address is commercial or residential? How bad was the problem?
If residents do not have on-line access, they can have a survey mailed to them by calling the city at 360-363-8100. The Web address is Chennault said the results of the survey will help Marysville officials figure out where problems exist and come up with the means for dealing with those problems, up to and including planning any capital improvement projects deemed necessary.
According to Chennault, the survey only went up on the Marysville Web site about a week ago. So far, the city has received only a handful of responses, so Chennault was reluctant to draw any conclusions regarding the survey at this point. She expects the survey to remain available for about another month. The overall study began in roughly October and should take about a year to complete. Chennault said the city last updated its storm water plan in 2002.
Even without much citizen input at this point, Chennault said city officials are aware of a few problem spots. She specifically mentioned parts of downtown Marysville and portions of the Smokey Point neighborhood.
In regard to Smokey Point, Chennault said she wasnt referring only to efforts to lower ground water in the area the city is promoting as a site for a possible branch campus of the University of Washington.
In response to problems in that area, the city is building a series of collection ponds with the cost of those ponds being passed on to developers as they come on line. In other words, developers will pay to use the ponds. The entire area is zoned for light industry, but Chennault said the city wants to look beyond those known problem spots.
Were trying to look at the big picture, she said.
While Chennault said public input is important, officials will be not rely on survey responses alone in updating the master drainage plan. Expect city workers to be out in the field looking at and looking for problem spots.
Once the study is complete, Chennault said officials need to prioritize any problems and, of course, look for ways to fund any needed remedies. If a fix is relatively simple and inexpensive, there always is a chance the city will address the problem immediately. Ultimately, City Council will need to approve the final plan, especially in dealing with any capital work needed.
While Chennault quickly was able to identify a few flooding trouble spots in Marysville, she also noted the city largely escaped the well-publicized and sometimes catastrophic problems that plagued many areas south of the city and south of Seattle.
I was really very happy the city was out there and kept a close eye on things, Chennault said.
In the past, as the flooding hit other areas, various city officials said workers were ready with sandbags in certain areas of Marysville, especially near the sloughs downtown and north of the city. Other emergency measures were entertained as well, but none proved needed.

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