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Advocate editorial board opinion: Project will mean great savings for many homeowners

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 9, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2012 at 8:10 p.m.


PUBLIC COMMENT

Beautiful. That word is the best way to describe the Lone Tree Channel Improvement and Detention Facility because it is all about improving the quality of life for residents in Victoria.

Completed in two phases, the $10 million project funded through general obligation bonds in 2000, was completed in 2009. Now, because of the improvements, more than 400 homes will eventually be moved out of the floodplain, saving those homeowners significant amounts of money, according to John Kaminski, the city's Developmental Services director.

So what is the project? Phase 1, which began in June 2005, involved digging a detention facility for Lone Tree Creek. "Basically, it's a big hole in the ground," Kaminski said. The facility is between the Tangerine and Tanglewood subdivisions, where the city's new park is being developed. And an earthen dam at the south end of the property also would help to contain storm water.

"You can only see the dam if you are on the property," Kaminski said.

"It was designed to hold storm water that would eventually be released through a series of pipes to go downstream. This would minimize flooding," Kaminski said.

The earth removed for the detention facility was considered spoil, and the removal of that dirt would have cost the city a lot of money. However, the Texas Department of Transportation took the dirt for the the Navarro-Stockbauer overpass.

"That saved the city a lot of money. The city didn't have to hire somebody to remove the spoil," Kaminski said.

Phase 2 of the project involved deepening and widening Lone Tree Creek from Airline Road to John Stockbauer Drive, again to decrease the chances of flooding.

When the project was completed in 2009, work on drawing maps that remove homes - primarily in the Inwood Terrace neighborhood, north of Miori Lane and west of Lone Tree Creek - from the flood plain ensued.

The new maps would be an amendment to Federal Emergency Management Agency's current maps.

"They've already published preliminary maps." Kaminiski said. He added that a public comment period will end March 9, which would be followed by official FEMA approval of the maps in November or December. Once the maps are official, homeowners can save money by not buying flood insurance - an expense that can be as much as about $900 a year.

We think the savings for residents is fantastic. And, of course, lessening the changes of flooding in Victoria is a great plus for the city And this area is now open for new development.

"It's something the city is doing to benefit the citizens," Kaminski said.

We praise this project and its promising outcome. And we urge the city to engage in more projects like this one.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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