Avoiding duplication goal of City, County on future river work
March 4, 2021
DAYTON–Mayor Zac Weatherford informed the County Commissioners of plans to move forward with obtaining permits to remove of sediment from the river within the city limits and requested any data already collected by the county to provide to FEMA.
Once permitted, Weatherford said, the City will either hire a contractor or work with the County for the work on the actual project to be done in two phases. First, to remove top sediment and then completing the project. The permitting has been held up by the need for multi-agency cooperation. The City is attempting to remove one of the hurdles to make progress and not have to wait on the County.
County Engineer Charles Eaton said the County's plan is now a single-phase project and not as extensive, noting the City's plan is to bring the river down to the 64-grade for the entire river within the city. Eaton said the County was only going to do that much at the bridges, otherwise just "scalping" to "make the channel viable and to have its capacity restored." This work was planned to start in late July. He also reminded Weatherford of the need of a biological assessment and the bull trout issue of being listed as an endangered species which the County is already doing.
Weatherford offered assurance the City would be doing the assessment and the process has already started.
"It seems like a massive waste of taxpayer money for both of us to be doing the exact same thing," Eaton said. He added that the County had just begun collecting data and expressed concern that Anderson Perry had already been working towards the permitting at the cost of $10-15k that now won't be used for the City.
Weatherford said that he wants the project to move forward independent of the County and the intention is not to waste tax payer money. The City wants to start where the County left off, according to the Mayor, and will reimburse the County for any data-collection costs.
Eaton agreed to share the data with the City but said he'd have to figure the actual cost billed.
The Commissioners questioned Eaton about whether the permitting would no longer be the County's responsibility or if they still need to be permitted for the rest of the work. Eaton replied that there are specifics surrounding the subject that he cannot discuss in a public meeting. They later met in an executive session specified for union negotiations.
When asked for a formal statement about his position on the City's plan, Eaton did not offer any.
Mayor Zac Weatherford and City of Dayton employees attended the Board of County Commissioners Board Meeting held by Zoom on March 1.