September 24, 2010
Communicating Flood Risks
Storm Water Services staff in LUESA has completed draft floodplain maps for the Little Sugar Creek and Briar Creek Watersheds. This fall, residents will be invited to public meetings to see Internet versions of the draft maps and talk with Storm Water Services staff about their individual flood risks. Residents can also view the draft maps online and provide comments and questions electronically.
All Charlotte-Mecklenburg floodplain maps are being updated over the next seven years. Approximately $1.1 million in County Storm Water fees is being used to leverage $2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to remap floodplains across the County.
Current local maps are based on 1997 data. Flood risks change over time due to natural and human factors such as land development and shifting climate patterns. The technology used to gather data, calculate flood risks and create the maps also changes over time.
New technology is also being used to help the public understand what the revised floodplain maps mean to them. Internet versions of the new maps show more than just how wide the floodwater will spread in a one-percent chance (“100 year”) flood. The 3D Interactive Floodzone Maps also show how deep the floodwater is expected to get. And with a click of the mouse, the new computerized maps can be changed to show how a property’s flood risk varies from a common rainfall event to an extremely rare flood. Increased awareness and understanding of flood risks can help residents take action to reduce the risk to lives and property.
Maintaining accurate floodplain maps is an investment in public safety. Storm Water Services’ Flood Mitigation program uses floodplain maps to prioritize properties for floodplain buyouts, regulate new development, expand the local flood notification system for emergency responders, and target flood safety information. Floodplain mapping data also influences local environmental projects. And within two years, the maps will become part of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps used in flood insurance determinations.
The draft maps show approximately 1,150 structures in the Briar and Little Sugar Creek floodplains. Based on the draft maps, the number of properties required to have flood insurance may decrease by about 250. The number of structures regulated by local floodplain ordinances may decrease by about 670.
Open house meetings to show the draft floodplain maps for Little Sugar and Briar Watersheds will be held on September 30 (6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Hal Marshall County Services Center) and October 5 (6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at The Hut meeting center in Pineville.
Drawing new floodplain maps for other Charlotte-Mecklenburg watersheds will continue through 2014 with the local and federal approval process to continue until about 2017. Remapping priority is based on each watershed’s current and projected risk of flood damage, including the number of at-risk buildings along each creek.
Board members with questions should contact Robert Billings of Storm Water Services at 704-432-0907or at Robert.Billings@mecklenburgcountync.gov.
We recognize employees as our most important resource. This statement regarding Employees is one of the six pillars that comprise Mecklenburg County’s Values & Guiding Principles (along with Ethics; Customers; Excellence; Teams; and Accountability). As Board members are well aware, over the past two years we have eliminated jobs, laid off employees, reduced compensation and cut other resources and services. Yet, in this difficult environment, we continue to expect the best effort and performance from our most important resource – our employees. This is a daunting challenge for our employees, and morale has suffered as evidenced by our employee climate survey results.
Although we do not have resources to provide pay increases this year, we must continue to recognize employees for their service. On Thursday, October 7 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., we are expressing our appreciation of Mecklenburg County employees at an event held at Freedom Park. Board members are welcome to attend.
This employee recognition combines several individual events held in previous years. The event at Freedom Park will include the kick-off of our new combined employee charitable giving campaign, the announcement of the County’s Employee of the Year, the recognition of Customer Service Hero Awards for employees who have gone above and beyond in serving customers, and celebrating the importance and value of diversity management.
Board members who would like more information should contact General Manager Michelle Lancaster at Michelle.Lancaster@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov or at 704-336-2621.
DSS Hosts 3rd Annual Educational Summit
Mecklenburg County DSS is collaborating with various community partners to host the 3rd Annual Educational Summit. Partners from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Parent University, Melange Health Solutions, Carolinas HealthCare System and Foresight Leadership Training will host breakout sessions and seminars featuring keynote speakers to discuss "Homework Without the Headaches," "Knowledge Is Power," and "The Importance of Parental Involvement in the Academic Success of Youth".
This summit will provide parents, guardians, foster care parents and various other child care providers an opportunity to improve educational outcomes for children in Mecklenburg County.
The Educational Summit will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2010, at Phillip O. Berry High School, 1430 Alleghany St., Charlotte.
For more information, please contact Social Services Director Mary Wilson at 704-336-6279 or Mary.Wilson@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov.
Commisioner Leake Appointed to Public Education Committee
On September 16, 2010, Commissioner Vilma Leake was appointed to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) Public Education Steering Committee. The Public Education Steering Committee is one of seven NCACC committees tasked with reviewing proposed legislative goals from North Carolina counties relevant to their content area and forwarding recommended goals to NCACC’s Legislative Goals committee.
Every other year, NCACC prepares a package of legislative goals that the NCACC’s lobbying team and elected officials will pursue before the General Assembly. The 2011 Legislative Goals conference will be held January 20¬¬-21 2011 in Wake County, North Carolina.
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager