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Mayor's Office in part responsible for levee delay? Time to Act??



I found some information that suggests to me the Mayor’s Office is in part responsible for the delay in completing the levee project (whether rightly or wrongly, I don’t know … ), and that it might be time to for me to contact the Mayor’s Office and strongly express my opinion on the subject …


HR 3370 http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/3370 , which was recently passed, does nothing to protect us in the long-run from flood insurance rate increases imposed by the Biggert-Waters Act.  It does provide for a cap on the annual rate of increase (15%-18%), but rates will nevertheless continue to increase over time to market-based rates.  There is a provision that indicates FEMA must “strive” to limit annual premiums to 1% of the value of the house (e.g. $2,500 per year on a $250,000 house); but FEMA is not actually required to do so.


So, while HR 3370 provides some short term benefit by mitigating rate shock, it doesn’t eliminate the rate increases.


And, so it appears (???) completing the levee is the only long run solution that remains.


Unfortunately, the project has stalled.  I think it stalled, in part, because Rocky Ripple, a community that previously opted out of the levee project, changed its mind over time and now wants to opt-in to the levee project.  I believe this change of mind occurred after the Army Corp of Engineers analyzed and designed for implementation various alternative plans.


Rocky Ripple residents seem to have support of the Mayor of Indianapolis.  It’s an older letter (2011), and I haven’t researched yet whether the joint meeting ever occurred, but Mayor Ballard wrote in a letter to Congressman Andre Carson (see link below):


“As you know, in the early 2000s, Rocky Ripple requested to be included in the levee project but was denied by the city. … The time is now to put this project back on the right course.  At my direction, DPW is working to support the Corps in an effort that results in a plan that protects Rocky Ripple from flooding and one that protects the canal, as it is currently enjoyed by people in those neighborhoods and beyond.  We understand that increased protection may increase costs, but I hope you will join me in a united effort to honor the interests of Rocky Ripple, Warfleigh, and Butler-Tarkington.  This path also ensures that the interests of the other neighborhoods will be supported as well, as they may finally be afforded flood protection when the project is completed.”


Which I interpret to say the Mayor in part is one reason the levee project has stalled … the Corps of Engineers designed a plan to complete the levee, now we must restudy the issue ... and increase project costs ... I believe in the neighborhood of $10 million.

And which also suggests that if I want to move the project along, then I need to start being VERY VOCAL at the Mayor’s Office …


Does this seem on track?  Seem like a good idea??


I also will show Mayor Ballard's letter to Congressman Carson to Congresswoman Susan Brooks’ representative … (whom previously indicated to me the issue was solely a local issue) ...  she holds office hours in the Broad Ripple firehouse the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 1-4 … I will ask her if someone please can become involved and mediate the issue and HELP US!! 

I also wonder if it is time for somewhat more aggressive action. Rally outside the Mayor's Office?? That surely would draw some attention.

See Ballard’s letter to Carson:  http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CFsQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.indy.gov%2FeGov%2FCity%2FDPW%2FRebuildIndy%2FProjects%2FDocuments%2F2011-05-24-Mayor_Ballard_Letter_to_Congressman_Carson.pdf&ei=wycwU7qVL6SsyAG3l4HwDA&usg=AFQjCNGcPpWwm7uEVXm-Sh2KhXAjLH0kJA&bvm=bv.62922401,d.aWc

Jim Polito


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I just wrote a letter to the mayors office demanding that the levee project be completed as soon as possible.  I suggest all of us to do the same.  We need to be the squeakiest wheel to get anything done.


A form letter distributed to residents via e-mail and the website, along with a physical or online address to send it to, may be the best way to get more people involved.  What are your thoughts on an online petition?  Is there a way to do one that also includes verification of an impacted address with minimal hassle?  Would that help as well?


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