Aug 202014

By Naomi Hatch

The first step of the Northern Solution flood control project at the Snowflake Industrial Park was approved at the Aug. 12 town council meeting with the approval of Resolution No. 14-12.

In working to implement the Southern Solution, town staff members were told of an opportunity to apply for a grant for the Northern Solution project, according to Town Manager Paul Watson.

“All we’re doing is authorizing the town to apply for the grant,” Watson advised the council, noting that if they are awarded the grant, they will sit down with Navajo County and NatureSweet officials to discuss the process of implementing the Northern Solution.

The $93,094 grant includes $17,000 for the preliminary concept design and grant application, $10,764 for in-kind finance/administration, a match of $31,001 from Navajo County Flood Control and a $34,239 public/private partnership contribution.

Watson explained in a letter, “As an option, the town may provide this contribution ($34,239) through federal equivalent labor costs by town employees ranging from $18-$40/hour, with equipment owned by the town…The town employees and supervisors are qualified and experienced in the type of proposed construction.”

The $93,004 for the Northern Solution Flood Control project represents 28.4 percent of the total estimate of $327,878 for design, analysis and construction of the project. Watson’s letter continued, “This contribution is representative of the public-private partnership consisting of the town, Navajo County Flood Control and businesses in the industrial park.

Watson said he spoke with the new owners of NatureSweet about the concept and in theory they are in agreement with the proposal being recommended.

The resolution explains that flooding has occurred on a regular, historic basis in the industrial park from regional runoff, which has been identified by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Division of Emergency Management. The two projects designated to solve these problems are the Northern and Southern solutions.

The town was successful in receiving federal funding for the Southern Solution and is pursuing federal financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to address the flooding in the industrial park.

During the report portion of the meeting, Watson reported that State Route 277 will be closed for the construction of the west crossing of the Southern Solution beginning some time that week. After the completion of the west crossing, they will begin the east crossing. There will be a detour during construction, and signage will encourage truck traffic to use SR 377 from Heber to Holbrook or Paper Mill Road instead of SR 277.

Watson said that the west crossing must be completed in September, and noted that these will be cement culverts instead of box culverts.

The monsoons of 2006 brought flooding to the industrial park and a lawsuit was filed by property owners there, which was the beginning of the Southern Drainage Solution or Southern Solution.

The town received a grant for the Southern Solution flood control project through the Arizona Division of Emergency Management from the Department of Homeland Security FEMA.

Completion of the culverts is the Arizona Department of Transportation’s portion of the grant, but a channel is one of the pieces needed to complete the project.