With details of flood mitigation circling above, it seems there is a bit of a debate going on between people who live in the flood plain and people who don't.

The people who live in the flood plain suffer every time the river exceeds 20 feet and water begins pouring into their home or basement. These people feel they need flood mitigation so they can safely remain in their homes, so they can get a reduced rate on their flood insurance and most of all so the water doesn't reach their property. Quite frankly most of these people are upset because they feel it's not even their water that is ruining their homes.

Then we have the people who are out of the flood plain. They only worry about their crops or gardens getting too much water. They feel they should have nothing to do with flood mitigation because the water doesn't directly affect them. Most of these people have implemented tiling and drainage ditches in an effort to get rid of the water so their fields, gardens and yards do not turn into a swamp. The implementations add to the flooding in the way of the water draining back to the river, getting bottlenecked and causing heavier floods.

The big debate is who needs to pay for flood mitigation. Townsfolk say the farmers need to help pay; water drained off their field and into our homes in town so they need to help pay. Rural people feel the people who built in the flood plain had a choice and didn't need to build their homes in a spot where they knew they could potentially become flooded. Therefore rural people don't think they need to pay for flood mitigation.

The debate can go either way. However, in the grand scheme of things everyone who lives in the conservancy district is affected. The people in the flood plain are directly affected with flood waters, whereas the people not in the flood plain are affected in the sense that if the village of Ottawa is flooded, they can't get gas, groceries or get to work to earn a paycheck.

Everyone whether directly affected or indirectly affected need to work together towards the common goal and that is to direct the water in a sense so nobody gets flooded when the river exceeds 20 feet.

Let us know how you feel; we put a poll on our website, drop us a line at news@putnamsentinel.com or send us a letter.