Lyon County discusses flood plans with Dayton community
October 5, 2017
It has almost been a year since the raging floods in January destroyed more than eight properties along Dayton Valley Road and other areas in Lyon County, but members of the community aren't hesitating to tackle the area's infrastructure to prepare for future events of winter's wrath.
Locals gathered Wednesday evening and met with Lyon County Manager Jeff Page at the Dayton Regional Citizens Advisory Board, in the Public Works complex on 34 Lakes Boulevard in Dayton.
Over the last nine months, Dayton residents expressed their concerns about the quality of retention ponds, culverts, and ditches protecting properties to prevent future flooding damage, and why repairs haven't been proposed.
But Page said there are two challenges in the process of moving forward: figuring out which parcels the county owns, and how to renovate flood control sources as they were built at least 25 years ago.
Heavy precipitation and the runoff has been a concern to Lyon County and its residents for at least 12 years, since the flooding in 2005.
"They were designed for a 25-year event rainstorm," he said. "We also have to consider what does the county own and how do we go about purchasing the right of way to fix these problems on property, and create a mechanism to financially support it all in the future."
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Homes near the Carson River, including the Dayton Valley Golf Course, were impacted by the flood with significant damage. Stagecoach had some of the worst damage among communities because of dirt roads, according to Page.
As for retention basins and damaged culverts, community members questioned about repairs and enhancements, especially after the erroneous emergency alert in February, urging residents to evacuate due to retention pond failure.
It has been repaired since and Page said the county only owns one retention pond; the rest are private property and the owner has the option to clean debris from culverts.
The county doesn't own the ditches in the area, either. In order to change that, the county would have to purchase a parcel of an owner's front yard to build a modern ditch.
Lyn Patmor of the Dayton Regional Advisory Board said the county should rewrite Title 15 (Land Use and Development Code) for the sake of the community.
"It's ambiguous," she said. "We need a well written code that better explains requirements and the verification process for others to understand."
One solution is to discuss options and benefits of building modern flood resources with property owners, Page said.
Ideally, Page said he would like to build a canal to run under Dayton Valley Road and a culvert under Lakes Boulevard.
But one of the concerns is reoccurring costs and affecting other properties.
As for next year's budget, Page hopes the county can direct funds toward drainage.
"I'm not going to build a canal if no one maintains it," Page said. "We have to work the funds into how we build, who maintains it now and in the future."
With that, the county applied for a grant ranging about $3,000-$250,000 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with repair projects.
However, the application froze when Hurricanes Harvey and Irma occurred last month, Page said.
"We are ranked as a low concern for FEMA," he said. "They said we had minimal damage, although water leaked into homes. But we qualify for public infrastructure improvements."
Page said a town hall meeting isn't necessary until the county evaluates a financial solution, as Mason Valley, Silver Springs, Smith Valley, and Stagecoach also are locations affected by the flood.
"We can't prevent every flood incident," Page said. "But we can reduce flood threats."
Page said the National Weather Service will present a forecast of the upcoming winter at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Oct. 19, 9 a.m., at 27 S. Main St. in Yerington.