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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 3, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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July 3, 2001
 

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Im Tuesday, July 3, 2001 News Bulletin. Record, Progressive, I~ Progre By Shayla Ashmore Staff Wnter The Federal Emergency Management Agency has ap- parently approved plans for the controversial Upper Piute Creek Flood Control project in Susanville. "FEMA has accepted our project," Susanville Planning Director Joe Hunter an- nounced on Wednesday, June 27. "They're f'mishing up the paperwork. We haven't re- ceived any final paperwork on it. " Hunter said he learned of the FEMA approval in an e- mail he received on Friday, June 22. In November, Jim Reichle told the Susanville City Council he will sue if the city does not drop the plan to re- duce flooding by holding flood water in seven ponds, or detention basins. "I don't know about suing them," Reichle said last week, "just because it gives me too much hearthache. But what I will do is ask how FE- MA could have approved it without any environmental review. I'll be looking into it." The plan also includes work to increase the capaci- ty of a culvert at Parkdale and Willow streets and re- store upstream roads to de- crease runoff, according to a Finding Of No Significant Im- pact published in the Aug. 8, 2000, Lassen County Times. To 'reduce flooding, the pre- ferred alternative envisions four ponds on Desmond Meadows, located on Piute Creek upstream of the Su- sanville Ranch Park. Three smaller ponds would be built on 15 acres A1 Rob- bins owns just south and west of the point where Roop Street meets Cherry Terrace. The ponds will impound the water for a fe,w days, then slowly release it. The city suffered flooding in 1986, 1993 and 1995. After high water in January, Feb- ruary and March and a Presi- dential Disaster Declaration five years ago, the city suc- cessfully applied for a $3 mil- lion Federal Emergency Man- agement Agency Hazard Mit- igation Grant. Reichle said the city plans to take two functioning meadows and tear them up without any environmental review. He also asked how the city can afford to take care of all the envrionmental issues and build the neces- sary dams with the $3 million FEMA allocated. When he threatened the lawsuit last year, Reichle claimed the project ignores the Susanville General Plan and will "slice up these mead- ows with rock-face dams and will remove large amounts of riparian and wetlands vege- tation which already help soak up water during floods and also encourage wildlife." He said the project also will destroy the 80-year-old brown trout fishery and spawning area on the Robbins' proper- ty. 50-year flood The grant allows the city to provide protection for floods of a magnitude likely to occur every 50 years. FEMA usual- ly gives money only to pro- jects that protect communi- ties from 100-year floods. The existing channel only accommodates a two-or: three-year flood event. Local officials said providing 50- year pr tion will be a sig- nificant imprQvement. The city will not prepare an environmental impact re- port, "based off the fact that there will be no long-term ad- verse impact on the natural environment resulting from this project," according to the notice published last year. However, before work be- gins the project will be revel- wed by the Lahontan Region- al Water Quality Control Board and the State Depart- ment of Fish and Game. Reichle was a member of the Piute Creek Planning group, formed five years ago to provide input on the pro- ject. He said the city took a totally different direct.ion than the one recommended by the local, state and federal experts who participated in those meetings. Reichle said the group wanted roads closed and re- pairs made to ffLX erosion in upstream areas and those spots without good infiltra- tion. Next, the planning group wanted the channel widened in town. The last step would be building detention ponds that don't interrupt scenic vistas, interfere with fish- eries or disturb wildlife. Reichle submitted a plan containing those elements. He said the planning group got no response from FEMA. The city changed its plans, according to Ken Weaver of Photo This trout, found in Piute Creek behind $usanville Supermarket, is one of a year-round fish population that spawns up the creek each fall. ed d ten the Natural Resouces Conser- duck sanctuary, amount of money,'" HU nc vation Service who facilitat- Some ideas generated by said after.Richle,threateealt]" r ed the last planning groupthe group "are not bad the lawsuit. "We re not` meeting, because of negative ideas," according to Joe 1rig it can t be done, response to the idea of build- Hunter, Susanville planning saying it's not going ing a detention pond just director. However the citydone in this project We'r t'. - Utll[ ] west of homes on Cherry Ter- had to design a project toing to do what we have._niI race Robbins then ap- solve a large problem with a money to do at this poi of proached the city and offered very limited amount of mon- time" rice, use of his property to hold ey. nag storm runoff and provide a"The city had a certain eduq Vo e 5a00 V8 Alter Rebate CD, rear seat b'ailer tow package, After Rebate LongPU. V8, 4WD, XLT, a/c 1aS PW, PL tilt wheel, cruise, am/fm stereocass CD dual air WoSa~-" bags. #EA85171 Kelly says: $35,920 Auto trans., FWD, aJc, PW, PL, tilt, cruise, ABS, rear spoiler. #146496. Kelly says: $13,35O We by.- hte to Inter RebMe heated V6, aut0 tra ., audi0 system, CD, c ette, sr em, JUter Rebate i V6, 4X4, LS, a/o, PS, PW, PL, tilt, cruise, dual air ABS. #369950. / says: $22,370 Wo Say: trans., a/c, PS, PW, PL, tilt wheel, cruise, CD, dual air bags, sliding rear window .._ bed liner. #635229. 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