From Mayor Ken Ritter:
7 years ago, many lives were greatly impacted by the rain event of August 2016. I promised to do everything within our power to minimize future flood risk and we have worked towards that goal every day since.
Thursday, we commemorated the culmination of years of hard work to overcome federal, state, and local hurdles to essentially lower the BFE (base flood elevation) by up to 1 foot for many areas.
The irony of completing the project during the worst drought in decades isn’t lost on me but neither are the thousands of victims of that weather event. Families displaced, damages, relationships strained, political pressures, etc. Sure, it was a once in a lifetime event that some argued wasn’t worth driving fundamental change, however if not then, when? The completion of literally moving Earth on behalf of our constituents and instituting development reform, drainage maintenance accountability, and regional detention was a fight worth taking.
Implementing our plan wasn’t a knee jerk reaction as accused by some critics at the time. It was a well thought out approach that was adopted once I was elected as your mayor with the help of forward thinking council members and the selection of a first class consultant. I’m proud of the teamwork, cooperative spirit of landowners, and for the innovative approach to repurpose dirt. Best of all we secured federal funding to achieve our master plan goal without burdening local taxpayers.
I recognize the excitement is limited today in a drought but I’m ok with that. Through our collective efforts and teamwork, we are in a far greater position than ever before. Not a victory lap however an acknowledgement to those lives that were forever changed in August 2016.
Grateful to serve as your mayor. -Ken