Saturday, July 19, 2003

Fairfield group to get data on flood control

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

FAIRFIELD - A newly formed residents group says it will spend the next week collecting data and planning its strategy before discussing flood control issues with Fairfield leaders.

"Our unofficial motto is, 'We're not going to go away again,' " said Tami Todd, who is co-chairing the Fairfield Flood Victims 6/14 group.

About 75 residents affected by last month's flooding attended an organizational meeting Thursday at Lane Public Library's Fairfield branch.

The group made no decisions but did discuss putting taxes in escrow until the flooding issue is resolved, filing a class action lawsuit against the city or putting a referendum issue on the November ballot to stop construction of the justice center at the former Kroger property.

"We're investigating all areas. Nothing is ruled out," Todd said.

During the next week members of the group will develop a database that includes information about flooding, sewer backups, insurance coverage, damage not covered by insurance, length of residency, how many times people have been flooded/or had sewage in their homes, and other similar information.

The data will be presented and reviewed at the group's 6 p.m. meeting Thursday at the community room of Lane Public Library. At that meeting the group will also decide on a course of action, Todd said.

Council members earlier this week told residents the city would present options and a time line at its July 28 meeting. Todd said residents want to be prepared to tell the city specifically what they want done.

"We need to be at every council meeting and say something," Todd said. "They may try to wear us down. We're going to wear them down."

The group, Todd said, is similar to the August First Alliance that formed in 1979 after a similar flood. That group worked to get ordinances adopted stipulating retention/detention basins for new development.

Fairfield Customer Service Manager Dave Crouch vowed the city would work with the residents. He attended the FFV meeting.

"The residents are upset. But what I was most pleased with ... is they are being rational and are taking a diplomatic approach," Crouch said. "They know they have to work with the city and city has to work with them."

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