Autumn Hills residents to work on flood concerns with county staff |

Autumn Hills residents to work on flood concerns with county staff

by Sheila Gardner

Setting aside a $40,000 drainage study, residents of Autumn Hills will get together with Douglas County staff to hammer out a work plan to address their flooding concerns.

The study – approved by commissioners in 1997 after fire and flood ravaged the Autumn Hills/Mott Canyon area – called for $3 million in improvements which the county can’t afford and residents said they don’t want.

Property owner Patrick Clark told the board that residents would be willing to work together.

“There are too many problems that can be easily solved,” Clark said. “A lot of people would make sacrifices to get what they want. Maybe we can get a forum that will come up with solutions.”

“You’re always responsible for your neighbor in the water flow,” said Commissioner Bernie Curtis. “Let’s get everybody around a table and look at this. Maybe there are some small fixes that can be accomplished in two hours with a backhoe.”

n First fire, then flood. Following the June 1996 Autumn Hills fire that burned nearly 4,000 acres, the county spent $100,000 on a reseeding project to restore vegetation in the area. That all washed away in the New Years 1997 flood.

In June 1997, commissioners authorized a consultant to prepare a drainage study and master plan for the Autumn Hills area in the wake of residents’ complaints about drainage and sedimentation problems.

Even though the master plan recommends $3 million in improvements, the county is only left with $50,000 to spend.

“The disturbing part about this is that we spent $40,000 on a study and we only have $50,000 to fix a $3 million project,” said County Commissioner Don Miner.

Residents told commissioners on Thursday they would prefer a less formal setting to address their concerns.

“There’s a saying that the Lord helps those who help themselves,” said Etchegoyhen. “Government woks the same way. Let’s see if we can all come up with solutions that don’t bankrupt us.”

Nunes agreed.

“Some of the best solutions come from the property owners – what they can do on private property. When the water gets on the county property, we can pick it up,” he said.