By JUDY SHERIDAN
With hopes of securing future funding from state and federal agencies, Aledo City Council members recently commissioned engineering firm Freese and Nichols to complete an almost $10,000 drainage study of five flood-prone areas of the city.
The study — which will include a brief overview of the problems and possible solutions as well as a range of the construction costs for each project — is the first step to obtaining funding for them through the Parker County Hazard Mitigation Plan, which the council chose to participate in last summer.
“What this project does is provide information for that hazard mitigation plan,” Public Works Director Gordon Smith told the council. “Once it’s in place and approved by the state, if there are hazards anywhere in the state — not in Aledo — Aledo can apply for the funding once they put funding in that bucket, as long as we have a plan in place.”
“This is to mitigate any natural disaster areas; we’ve chosen these flooded areas. This assessment will identify what we want to do there.”
City staff and engineers from Freese and Nichols chose the five known problem areas in an initial scoping phase, Smith said, listing an unnamed tributary at Hidden Valley Drive, Clear Fork Tributary No. 1 at the railroad tunnel, areas in Country Acres and the Lasater Addition, the Cedar Bluff detention pond and Clear Fork Tributary No. 1 at Bailey Ranch Road.
If the city wants to evaluate other areas instead, they could be discussed at the project kickoff meeting, Smith wrote in a memo to City Administrator Ken Pfeifer, but the total number of projects must remain at five.
City engineer Robert McGee emphasized that the studies, called stormwater project screenings, are basic evaluations, not in-depth hydraulic studies. He assured council member Kerby Smith that construction work on FM 1187 and Aledo Trail would not affect them.
“The useful part of this is, once it’s in the Parker County Hazard Mitigation Plan, you can use that to apply for matching money, through grants from TCEQ and FEMA,” he said.