Whitefish Bay officials present long-term flooding plan

WHITEFISH BAY -- Whitefish Bay village officials held a public meeting Wednesday night, September 19th to address a permanent solution to the village's flooding problems. In 2010, residents were forced to foot the bill for major repairs after significant flooding.

Village officials say the July 2010 storm left about 20% of the village underwater.

For the past two years, the Whitefish Bay Village Board has been trying to figure out the best way to fix the problem. They've come up with a plan for flooding upgrades to infrastructure, new construction and projects to mitigate future flooding.

Wednesday night, officials presented their plan to Whitefish Bay residents.

"Some of it is old infrastructure. Some areas don`t have regular storm sewer pipes so it`s more surfaces flow. Some of the storm sewer pipes are inadequate in size,"

Village officials say they want to make sure an overflow akin to 2010 doesn't happen again. They have collaborated on a 15-year conceptual capital improvement plan.

The $104 million plan will focus on the six most flood-prone areas as well as sewer, water, storm water, streets, sidewalks and street lights.

"The pipes are sized to handle a 10-year storm and then once the pipes are filled, the street will be designed to store up to 100-year storm, and that basically is about a six-inch rain in 24-hour period. You can take care of that much storm draining in these six flood prone areas and what you do there will have a positive affect outside all of those areas,"

Residents voiced their concerns at the public meeting Wednesday night.

"There a very good chance they`re going to tear up the entire baseball field and the kids won`t be able to play baseball," one resident said.

Storm sewer, water, sewer bills and taxes are expected to go up. While village officials feel the project is necessary to fix the bevy of flooding issues, some residents would still rather have an alternative.

"I think it`s wrong. It`s too costly there`s an easier way out," one resident said.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board says it approved the conceptual plan back in July after it was thoroughly discussed in public meetings.

The first phase of construction is slated for spring of 2013.