WINSLOW, Ariz. - A group of officials and interested people from Winslow, Navajo County and the Navajo Nation met with Colonel Kim Colloton of the Army Corps of Engineers and others from that agency to discuss a levee project near the Little Colorado River. The group met at the Flying J Truck Stop and drove in a number of vehicles to a spot on the levee where the meeting took place.
Colloton said near the end of the meeting that the project was looking good and that she was confident that the levee would be constructed and get most of Winslow out of the flood plain. She said there is $750,000 in the budget for completing the feasibility study in 2015.
The biggest challenge Winslow faces is getting the levee recertified and most of the city out of the flood plain. The citizens of Winslow pay more than $300,000 per year for flood insurance since Federal Emergency Management Agency declared most of the city in a flood plain. Completion of this project would make it possible for the city and its residents to make better use of that money.
Along with Colloton, Commander of the Los Angeles District Rick Leifield, Chief of the Engineering Division Josephine Axt, Chief of the Planning Division and Project Manager Brian Kenny attended the meeting and talked about the history of the project and plans for the near future.
Chairman of the Navajo Board of Supervisors Jesse Thompson, Director of Public Works and Assistant County Manager Homero Vela, County Engineer and Flood Plain Administrator Bill Bess, Planning and Zoning Manager Trent Larson, Hydrology Technician Teresa Cameron and Consultant Brandy Tomhave represented Navajo County at the meeting. Members of this group spoke about the history of the levee and progress toward getting it repaired and recertified.
Winslow Councilman Harold Soehner, City Manager Steve Pauken, City Engineer Mark Woodson and Community Development Director Paul Ferris represented the city of Winslow. Members of this group spoke about the damage done to the city when FEMA declared Winslow to be in a flood plain and the devastating expense of flood insurance for residents of the city.
Members of the Winslow Levee Advisory Committee or their representatives also attended the meeting.