City Manager's Corner
As I write this today the cold rain is falling and potential for Winter weather is very high. Ice, Sleet, and believe it or not, snow—before Halloween. What comes to mind with this weather is drainage and natural flows of storm water in Choctaw. Winding down my fourth year in Choctaw I am now accustomed to the seasonal weather patterns and the issues they cause around the City. One of the more complicated issues is drainage and storm water run-off. Every City struggles to deal with the water when extended rains or “frog strangler” rains hit. Choctaw is no different. Currently, a professional hydrologist is conducting 3 drainage studies of known problem areas around the City. Drainage is more complicated than one would think and it involves more than just rerouting water, clearing bar ditches, or clearing trees in creeks. There are a multitude of environmental, federal & local laws, tributary, drainage patterns, and impacts to other property to consider. Merely rerouting or plugging up a drainage issue, while it might mitigate one problem, always creates a bigger issue somewhere else. Therefore a study of the development, drainage, and flow pattern are required upstream and downstream of any ponding or flooding problem. The mitigation or fix to the problems usually involve an engineered solution taking into consideration all the laws, flows, and impacts to up and downstream structures. The City must then prioritize projects to fix drainage issues based on costs, impact, and urgent need. This requires long range planning in budgets—drainage projects are very expensive. Eventually the City will need a comprehensive drainage study which will help inform potential development, bar ditch maintenance, road maintenance, tributary maintenance, and other culvert improvements needed in and around the city.
We have the holidays to look forward to as we move into November! The Parks and Recreation Team have some unique programs set to celebrate Christmas and the holidays. Stay connected with us on Facebook and the City Website for the latest information.
Your City Manager,
-posted November 2, 2020
UPDATE: Posted November 4, 2020
The City has communicated through various media to include personal phone calls to citizens signed up through our Black Board connect the efforts on Storm Debris and what options citizens have to take care of debris from trees that fell on their property. I apologize if some have not gotten word through one of the mediums—phone call, Facebook, Website. With that said below is what The City is doing to assist. This will be a long drawn out process as your city does not have the monetary resources nor manpower to take care of this disaster without aid from FEMA. Debris pick up will take months.
We are asking citizens with tree debris from the Ice Storm to take it to your curb. Debris should be cut into 10 foot or smaller lengths and neatly stacked for ease of pick-up. Citizens should be prepared for the debris to remain on the curb for an extended time while the City works contractual and funding details with the County, State, and Federal Government.
A federal disaster has not been declared as of this time. Debris shall not encroach the road, block meter boxes, cable and electrical boxes.
If you do not want your debris sitting on the curb for an extended period of time below are some other options for you:
The City still has the usual options available for Citizens that do not want place debris on the curb. 1) Burn Permits from the Fire Department, 2) use the standard bulk waste option available through Waste Connections, Questions about bulk waste collection can be directed to the Choctaw Utilities Department at 390-8198.
3) taking debris to the landfill.
We ask for patience as we all work through this disaster.
The Governor declared a disaster and the Choctaw Mayor has declared a disaster which postures the City for Federal Assistance should that opportunity arise through FEMA. The options for collection could range from curbside pick-up to centralized collection areas. This effort will take many months as we work through the situation.
We also remind citizens and businesses in Choctaw Council Extended the Mask Ordinance. Every person in the City of Choctaw shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth worn consistent with CDC guidelines when inside a commercial entity or other building, structure or space open to the public;. It was extended through Dec 2nd.