Rep. Soliday: Little Calumet flood control passes House

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Monday, January 30, 2012 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE—A bill authored by State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) to solve the problem of flooding on the Little Calumet River passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 84-10. House Bill (HB) 1264 now moves to the Senate for their consideration.

Millions of dollars are required to clean-up debris and repair damages every time the Little Calumet floods. As the problem persists, area residents have seen a rise in their flood insurance rates. Under HB 1264, property owners in the flood zone would contribute a one-time fee to rebuild and repair the levees that protect against flooding.

“Property owners in the Little Calumet River Basin have struggled far too long with flooding,” said Rep. Soliday. “Together, we can protect our homes and businesses from frequent flood disasters. We can hold down insurance rates and keep our communities from having to shoulder the huge financial burden associated with flood damage.”

Under the provisions of HB 1264, the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission (LCRBDC) would be responsible for repairing the levees. To ensure communities have enough input, the LCRBDC board would be expanded from five to nine members. Each property owner would make a payment that would fund flood control efforts. For residential properties, this fee would be $45.

The bill also establishes the Little Calumet River Basin Project Advisory Board. The executives of the municipalities located in the watershed would each appoint one member to the board and the Lake County commissioners would also appoint one member. To qualify, each member of the advisory board must have experience in designing, constructing, maintaining, or managing drainage or flood control facilities in the watershed.