From: Tom Bice
In last week’s Trempealeau County Times, it was noted that I, as a member of the Trempealeau County Board, voted against an early warning system. This system would give Trempealeau County some additional warning if a flood were coming. The Arcadia and Dodge areas are expected to be the main areas to have additional warning time. The cost of this system will be about $140,000 of taxpayer money.
I voted no because I would rather spend that money on some physical structure that would actually help the flooding. The Arcadia area has a massive structure change being built that will hopefully divert this flood water away from the city. This is money well spent. I have worked with the Dodge officials trying to come up with some flood protection for Dodge, and I continue to be optimistic this will happen. In Dodge, the concept is simple: build a physical dike. One problem is the red tape that the many bureaucracies involved impose on us! $140,000 could go a long way in permanent prevention, rather than an enhanced warning system.
We have the ability to foresee the potential rainfall better than ever before. We have phenomenal communication capabilities; we have active radar and an Emergency Management Director. When I asked how the new system would help better than all of the other safeguards we currently have, I was told we can open the dams sooner, and start sandbagging sooner. We can also get people evacuated sooner. I hope those things all happen, but it was my opinion that we were not going to get the most for the $140,000 spent.
In defense of the County Board, I will say that we were not offered any other alternative, and we were encouraged by some state and federal taxpayer money available to help pay for it.