Flooding on the Blanchard river is an old problem. But Findlay's mayor is looking for new solutions, like removing riffle dams, or getting rid of the bottleneck created by a railroad bridge. That is a big challenge.
"We've had little communication with the railroad... it's just something they're known for. They're not the most talkative folks,” Mihalak said.
In a major flood, that one bridge makes a big difference.
"With the railroad bridge and the benching project, it's about a foot,” Mihalak said. "But without the bridge, it's about .6 - .7."
Construction drawings are just about done. Mayor Lydia Mihalak hopes to start excavation construction in late August. They call this the 'bench": it involves cutting a nearly mile long "seat" or "bench'" along the banks.
"We're really close,” Mihalak said.
"Water quality in any community is one of the vital things for growth of the economy,” Martin said.
Phil Martin works with the Blanchard River watershed partnership to keep things - and the current - running smooth.
"Flooding obviously erodes more ground. It brings in more potential for phosphorous,” Martin said.
"We do not do a good job of making sure that those things are well maintained,” Mihalak said.
Managing flooding helps prevent algae growth in Lake Erie. Keeping the river clean makes Findlay a desirable place to live.
"I gotta tell you that finding a flood mitigation solution for this community has been a very daunting task,” Mihalak said.
The mayor says the work is speeding up, now that Findlay brought in private business to help.
"Since we've said goodbye to the Army Corps and brought Stantec on board,” Mihalak said.
Mayor Mihalak says now that the Army Corps of Engineers is out of the process, and the brush has been cleared, bidding will soon begin on the actual bench work