The Walla Walla River runs adjacent to the City of Milton-Freewater, Oregon. In the 1940s, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) constructed levees along the river to protect property from flooding. Several areas of the river have deficient flood control structures and need to be fixed. There is an estimated $1.8 million cost to repair levee deficiencies. This project provided an opportunity to explore partnerships around watershed improvement. A key part of this project was enhancing and sustaining the local economy.
- To provide dependable and sustainable flood reduction in an environmentally and economically sound manner
- To identify the financial resources to fix the flood control structures, as well as to maintain them over an extended period of time
- To work with FEMA to adopt an accurate flood map for the Milton Freewater area.
- To enhance the Walla Walla Basin watershed by finding solutions to address the USACE requirement for limited plantings in levee areas and environmental requirements of other agencies for enhanced water quality
- A $2.8 million bond issue for levee repairs went before voters in November 2010 and passed with 80.8 of voters voting “yes.”