March 18, 2011

David Gogol Offers Reason for Some Optimism on Ohio Flood-Control Study

Northwestern Ohio officials refuse to give up hope of federal funding for a key flood-control study of the Blanchard River watershed, and David Gogol of B&D Consulting said there is reason for some optimism, the Findlay Courier reported in its story, "Flood Study May Still Get Funding."

Lobbying on behalf of Findlay, Ottawa, and Hancock and Putnam counties, Gogol said Congress could allocate billions of dollars to the Corps for general activities within two weeks, the story reported. That could be good news for the Northwestern Ohio region, Gogol added.

Traditionally, the Corps received congressional approval for specific projects — or earmarks. But, Gogol said, because earmarks have fallen out of favor with Congress, federal agencies and lobbying groups are working out a way to continue funding, the Findlay Courier reported.

Gogol said he is "hopeful and a little bit optimistic" that the Corps, if it receives lump-sum funding, will set enough aside to finish the second phase of the Blanchard River watershed general investigation study, according to the story.

The second phase will detail cost-effective flood control alternatives in Findlay, Ottawa and other areas, the Findlay Courier reported. The Corps has been impressed by the region's unprecedented efforts thus far, Gogol said, because politics has been set aside and governments and corporations worked to speed pre-construction work.

Northwestern Ohio officials scrambled for more information after the Army Corps of Engineers disclosed it may need about $2.5 million from area governments to finish the "general investigation study" of the river and its tributaries, according to the story. The study is needed before Congress can be asked to help fund flood control projects.

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