Public Information Meeting (PIM) process, frequency

Watershed Studies typically have at least three Public Information Meetings (PIMs).

  1. The first PIM introduces the study – what is studied and what the schedule is.
  2. The second PIM shows the existing conditions inundation mapping (inundation mapping shows how deep a water is and indicates areas of flooding concern) and asks the attendees if the maps show what they saw when it flooded.
  3. The third PIM shows the proposed solutions to reduce flooding and again asks attendees if they have concerns and is used to get input on the proposals.

Some watersheds may have a fourth PIM; this happens if all the questions asked during the third PIM or during the comment period could not be answered. Review “Public Comment Period” section.

Some watersheds in the City are only undergoing the first phase of a study – determining where and why flooding occurs.  For these studies, proposed solutions are not developed.  These studies also do not have public engagement.  The final report will be posted on the City’s Watershed Study website.  The flood mapping will also be shared.

Focus Groups

A focus group is made of a group of property owners, residents or interested parties that are within an area that has known flooding (either historically reported or flooding areas indicated in computer modeling).  A specific study could have several such focus group areas. The focus group areas and focus group meetings are where the City hopes to get additional information and feedback from those living, working or owning property in the area that have specific knowledge or feedback that can help inform the computer modeling process.

Most watershed studies will have two rounds of focus group meetings. The first round will be to talk to the specific residents or property owners in the focus group areas to find out what they observed for flooding. The second round of meetings will be to show those same focus groups the maps that were created from the computer models and ask if the maps match what has been observed during rain and flooding events.

Public Comment Period

Once the computer modeling and flood solutions are complete and the final draft report is created, the City hosts a public comment period, which would normally last a minimum of 30 days.  Interested parties are notified of this on the website, email blasts or via social media postings.  During that time, the draft final report is posted on the project’s webpage and the public is invited to review the draft final report and provide comments, questions, and feedback.

After the public comment period is over, City staff review the comments, questions, and feedback.  Responses are created and posted to the website.  Depending upon the level of interest, the responses may be provided quickly or they may take some time to develop. That feedback and responses will then be posted again and provided within the reports as supplemental information.

If the feedback is generally positive the watershed study will move forward to the approval process. If there are concerns that the City feels they need to address further, an additional Public Information Meeting may be required, along with an updated or amended report before it is approved.