Big news sometimes arrives like the best gifts: in small packages. The news this week at Levee Ready Columbia is a good example. On a rainy Wednesday night in Fairview Oregon, the Fairview city council unanimously agreed to sign intergovernmental agreements, and to join over 20 other organizations in planning to address future flood risk associated with the Columbia Corridor levee system.
The Fairview City Council vote follows votes by the Metro Council, Multnomah County Commissioners, Portland City Council, Gresham City Council, Troutdale City Council, Port of Portland Commission, the elected boards of five drainage districts and the approval of the all the members of Levee Ready Columbia partners.
What this all means is that the participating governments have agreed to share in the financing of Levee Ready Columbia. The majority of the nearly $4 million financing agreement will come in the form of a low interest Infrastructure Finance Authority Loan from the State of Oregon. Small cash contributions will also be made by each of the partners to cover administrative, public engagement, and facilitation activities not covered by the loans.
In the coming year, these funds will be used to conduct engineering assessments of levees and flood risk management systems and to identify the economic, community, and environmental assets at risk of flooding. In 2017, Levee Ready Columbia expects to use this information, and a risk assessment framework, to consider how to best prepare for future floods on the Columbia River.