Point discusses flood wall certification

Beth Sergent - bsergent@civitasmedia.com

POINT PLEASANT — Meeting federal requirements in regards to the integrity of the City of Point Pleasant’s flood wall, was a topic of discussion at this week’s City of Point Pleasant council meeting.

Going through a government-mandated checklist regarding the flood wall began roughly in June 2013. This certification process is now required by the federal government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as a result of the levees failing in New Orleans, La. during Hurricane Katrina. Point Pleasant was one of many cities affected by the new regulations.

Jennifer Casey of Fox Engineering, and now of Terradon Corporation, has worked on the certification project for the city from the beginning, with she, along with other city officials, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete the work. She said a seepage analysis report was done last March and approved as presented in November – this analysis cost just under $5,000 with Casey presenting council with the bill Monday night.

The last thing, it is hoped, being requested for the certification, is an interior drainage calculation report which includes surveying and mapping, taking about a month t0 complete. Casey said an estimate for this work is $19,197. The city already spent around $34,000 for other reports to achieve certification and Casey said on several items, the city had “gotten relief” from having to complete. All and all, Casey said the flood wall is in good shape and is actually nine and one-half feet taller than it has to be due to its design being based on the 1929 flood – the average of more contemporary floods is much lower.

Failing to complete all the tasks as requested in this certification project would mean those living within the protection of the flood wall would have to get flood insurance – a significant expense city officials do not wish to pass on to residents.

In other council news:

Councilwoman Janet Hartley asked council to consider looking into the costs and possible fundraising to expand decorating the City of Point Pleasant at Christmas, similar to the Gallipolis In Lights display at Gallipolis City Park.

Council members Allen Moran and Keith Sargent brought up the need to patch several streets.

Council approved a request from the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center to place a bronze statue of a river worker in Riverfront Park near the large concrete sign that welcomes visitors to Point Pleasant near the Fifth Street park entrance. The statue will face the Ohio River and be six-feet tall. This will be at no cost to the city.

Council members asked to speak to Point Pleasant Rotary members about its plan to put a kiosk at Gunn Park directing visitors to attractions. Council members were supportive but unsure about where to place the kiosk, concerned it does not obscure the view of the Mothman statue and is also placed in the best location.

The city’s latest police officer, Jonathan Peterson, is finishing his training at the academy, Mayor Brian Billings reported. The city was able to take advantage of a WorkForceWV grant which pays for Peterson’s training and up to $800 for clothing. Working on this grant were Chief Joe Veith, Billings and Councilman Bob Rulen.

Clerk Amber Tatterson reported the new specialized mower for the drainage channel has arrived. It was a required purchase in order to complete the North Point Pleasant Drainage project.

Members of council welcomed back City Attorney R.F. Stein to his first council meeting in a couple months after suffering a serious accident. Stein has since recovered and was released for work last month, having also recently returned to his full-time job as a assistant prosecuting attorney for Mason County.

Beth Sergent


Reach Beth Sergent at bsergent@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at bsergent@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.