Board approves project to resolve flood problems in a section of Midland

The News TribuneApril 9, 2014 

Midland-area residents will be the first to benefit from the portion of the flood control tax set aside for local projects.

The board for Pierce County’s flood-control zone district Wednesday approved spending $375,000 for the Golden Given culvert replacement.

Construction by the county is scheduled for the summer. The culvert replacement -- at Golden Given Road East north of 121st Street East -- is expected to resolve problems with repeated flooding of roadways and surrounding properties.

The project will replace the existing undersized culvert and realign a tributary of the north fork of Clover Creek into it.

The project in unincorporated Pierce County is the first application the Board of Supervisors -- comprised of the seven Pierce County Council members - has received and approved for funding from the so-called “opportunity fund.”

Ten percent from the countywide flood control tax is set aside for local stormwater and flood projects. Cities, towns and the unincorporated county -- a total of 24 jurisdictions -- each get back a tenth of the tax they pay for the flood district.

The 10-percent share varies by the amount of tax collected in the jurisdiction. The largest chunk of money -- about $300,000 annually -- goes to Pierce County for the unincorporated parts of the county.

Communities can bank the money and let it build up for several years for a project.

The district’s countywide property tax of 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation went into effect in 2013. The tax raises about $7 million each year.

The opportunity fund was a key selling point for communities rarely in danger of flooding, such as Gig Harbor and Milton, but that still have to pay the tax.

When the County Council voted in April 2012 to create a countywide taxing district for flood control, it included a request that 10 percent of the tax money raised go back to cities for their stormwater and flood projects.

Acting in their role as the district’s board of supervisors, council members approved the fund last June.

Last October, the board parceled out money for major flood-control projects for the first time.

It approved a $12.9 million budget that included $10 million in capital projects. The big-ticket item was $6.4 million for Orting’s Calistoga setback levee on the Puyallup River.


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