GB alderman feels 'blind' when it comes to city's plan to address flooding concerns

Published: Sep. 27, 2018 at 9:30 PM CDT
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As people in Green Bay continue to deal with the aftermath of last week’s flash flooding, some Green Bay City Council members are demanding an action plan.

Last week’s downpour that left much of the east side of Green Bay under water is considered a once, in a thousand-year storm. That means a storm like that won’t happen again for a very long time.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas throughout the city that flood, even with a small amount of rain and that was the focus of Thursday night’s improvement and services committee meeting.

“Right now I feel blind as an alder. I feel blind as a city council member. When we have budget season coming up and I have zero idea about how much money you need to effectively perform the job that our residents expect,” said Brian Johnson, Green Bay City Council member.

Johnson is asking Green Bay’s Public Works Department for a plan to address continuing flooding in certain areas throughout Green Bay.

Green Bay alderman Mark Steuer agrees adding that he would like a map of problem areas in his own district.

“We as alders need to see in our districts what areas are in need of work,” said Steuer. “We need to see this stuff. I know it’s out there. We need to see it ourselves to make wiser decisions.”

Public Works Director Steve Grenier said his staff is actually in the process of updating a report from three years ago that identifies problem areas in the city.

“I have staff pulling the old report, updating that to current conditions so I will be able to tell you what projects have already been completed and what our plan is to continue moving forward,” said Grenier. “For the entire summer, Elizabeth Street over on the east side of the city, north of Riverside Ballroom, has been under construction. That is one of the projects that came out of the study three years ago.

Along with giving that updated plan to city council members, Grenier’s staff is also working on a five year plan to present during the next budgetary session.

Johnson said that plan will help the city make better monetary decisions when it comes to the upcoming budget.

“Any smart organization is looking at needs 5 years down the road,” said Johnson.

Last week, Action 2 News talked to the city’s operations director who said upgrading the city’s aging infrastructure would cost tens of millions of dollars, but what the committee asked for Wednesday (a future plan of attack) is in the works.