City of Glasgow Levee Safety Committee
Members: Mayor; Rod Karst, Director of Public Works; Paul Skubinna, City Council Person; Doug Nistler, City Employees; Rod Dees, Alicia Frueh, Valley County Commissioner; Paul Tweten, Valley County DES Coordinator; Rick Seiler, Local resident; John Fontaine.
City of Glasgow Levee and the Levee Committee
Why does it matter?
The City of Glasgow Levee System is a vital piece of the City’s Infrastructure system that is not only critical to the welfare and safety of our community but also currently bogged down with Federal Regulation. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the Federal Agency responsible for overseeing regulation of Glasgow’s Levee System. Complex issues and an array of opinions related to the necessary solutions that can keep the Levee System in compliance and meeting the needs of the community keep this matter at the forefront of the City’s attention.
The southern most portion of the City of Glasgow borders the Milk River and Cherry Creek waterways and the associated flood plains. The Glasgow – Cherry Creek LB & Milk River LB Levee System separates south-side City neighborhoods from the flood plain. The Glasgow Levee System is under the Federal Government’s PL 84-99 program and the City of Glasgow is the Public Sponsor and as such is required to operate and maintain the flood control system in accordance with USACE standards.
The importance for the City to remain in the PL 84-99 Program is eligibility for Federal Disaster Funding in the event of catastrophic flooding in the protected area. Directly related to disaster eligibility is the designation of the protected area in regards to the flood plain. Currently, the Glasgow Levee System ensures that all area in town south and southwest of Hwy 2 is not classified as being located within the flood plain. If that designation is not recognized by FEMA (which could occur if the Glasgow Levee were removed from the PL-84-99 Program) then insurance and lending institutions will classify the properties in that area as being located in the Flood Plain. That would not only have a drastic effect property values, but it would also halt future development on the south side of Glasgow and negatively impact insurance rates for all properties, public and private alike.
Recognizing the need for immediate and committed action in the matter, the Mayor and City Council appointed the Glasgow Levee Committee. The City of Glasgow Levee Committee is an advisory committee to City of Glasgow that was conceived to assist the City with drafting a comprehensive System Wide Improvements Framework policy (SWIF). Ultimately the purpose of the of the SWIF plan is to help the City meet USACE criteria to ensure conditions are met to keep the levee in active status under the PL 84-99 program. The other primary objective of the Glasgow Levee Committee is to seek long term solutions to all compliance issues related to the Glasgow Levee System.