Excelsior Citizen

Citizen driven news for Excelsior Springs, MO

City Holds Fishing River Watershed Workshop

Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by S Jason Cole

Citizens of Crystal Lakes attended the Fishing River Watershed Study workshop at the Excelsior Springs Community Center. Photo: Courtney Cole

A little over twenty gathered at the Excelsior Springs Community Center on September 7th for the latest in a series of opportunities for citizens to learn more about the Fishing River Watershed Study that is underway and give feedback in regard to flooding problems in the downtown.

The project team has spent the Spring and Summer identifying flooding, drainage, erosion, and sedimentation hot spots happening in our downtown area by offering a series of ways for the public to give feedback. Now moving into the Evaluation Phase, the team will review the problems, opportunities and constraints identified and will begin reviewing problems, opportunities and constraints identified and explore ideas for how we could respond to them.

The study will look at existing conditions of the Dry Fork of Fishing River along South St, Thompson, Main St., Low Water Bridge, and Crystal Lakes; they can use computer modeling to visually see where bank or bridge failures occur. Using this modeling, they can also produce models for what flooding would look like once solutions are in place.

The study team gave those attending an opportunity to gather in small groups to look at the flooding area and discuss possible solutions. Some of those solutions include slowing the water down and holding it back using pools and vegetation. Another solution would be to stabilize the streambank, so they won’t erode, with vegetation or rock. Sedimentation, riparian buffers, rain gardens, barrels, and other solutions were discussed. 

Speaking on behalf of a group of citizens in the Crystal Lakes area, Keith Hudson talked about some of the solutions that they’re looking at implementing there. Dredging the lake is just one problem. The other is finding different ways to fund the work. He did report that there were 25 acres below the clubhouse that could be used for retention, another 10-12 acres that someone owns that could maybe be bought and added to the collection space, making a total of around 35 acres.

Alternative solutions offered by attendees included: vegetation and end pools; catching water in pools in natural areas; look at how to add rain barrels for citizens; sedition that could affect capacity for maintenance costs; areas that are already washing away from erosion; what businesses are dealing with; don’t want a solution to look industrial, having green rooftop added to the space; providing education to the city and public; using terrace pools strategically to allow farmers to irrigate farms into those spaces; repairing and buffers; how nice it would be to have native and butterfly plants along Linear Trail Park; wetland environment; putting in a suspension bridge; picking the right plants; larger containers for businesses downtown to collect rainwater off roofs; garden clubs and an education program. 

Newly hired City Planner Shantele Frie’s group imagined the possibility of starting a rain barrel program for citizens while mentioning that it could maybe be something to partner with the Job Corps Center in doing. 

If you are interested in giving feedback, the study team is looking for feedback on the following: 

  • What additional ideas would like to add to the list of potential solutions? 
  • What concerns you most about the potential solutions? 
  • What are the Top Solutions you’d like to pursue and why? 
  • What other questions, comments, or concerns would you like to share? 

The next steps are to develop preliminary alternatives and opportunities, schedule another community workshop in the winter, write a draft and final study document, and then post the project on the City’s webpage after the first of the year. 

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