Alexander Lumber | Champaign, IL

How does a community bounce back after disaster strikes?

Gregory Crowe, AICP | with 0 Comments


How does a community bounce back after disaster strikes?

The floods of 2008 descended upon Illinois communities with lightning speed, leaving behind broken infrastructure and citizens who vowed to reduce the damage from similar natural disasters in the future. With patience and resolve, plus community-wide planning efforts, communities are taking proactive measures to fight future floods.

Comprehensive plans can help direct a community’s future and position it for available grant funding.

Plan Requirements
A comprehensive plan that effectively prepares a community for future disaster should meet the following criteria:
  • Analyze the impact of past disasters, paying special attention to the areas and groups that were most adversely affected and the unmet “needs” that were created, either directly or indirectly (e.g. infrastructure, housing, economic development)
  • Recommend principles/policies designed to address the identified needs created by past disaster
  • Outline strategies designed to mitigate or minimize future disaster damage
  • Promote sustainable planning principles such as providing more transportation choices, promoting equitable, affordable housing and enhancing economic competitiveness.
In the wake of the 2008 floods in Illinois, MSA helped nine communities obtain $875,000 of funding support through the IKE program. Following is a summary of some of the projects MSA helped communities complete through the use of IKE funds.
 
City of Keithsburg
MSA provided facilitation and support services for a Strategic Planning Initiative in Keithsburg. With guidance derived through this process, the City, in partnership with MSA, has completed preliminary engineering analysis work to improve its levee system, water system, wastewater treatment plant and city streets.

City of Eureka
The 2008 flood waters damaged the City of Eureka’s wastewater treatment plant, park facilities, school ball field and roadways. MSA worked with the City to develop implementation studies to accompany the comprehensive plan. This combination of tools provides the City with a holistic way to mitigate future flooding problems.

Whiteside County
IKE funds allowed Whiteside County to create its first comprehensive plan, adopted in July 2014. Over the course of a year, MSA facilitated a broad public process using public meetings, stakeholder interviews, mail and online surveys and a series of meetings with a diverse steering committee. The approved document features an action plan to help county staff and elected officials prioritize projects.

For more information on comprehensive plans or funding, contact Gregory Crowe.

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