During the annual conference in Normal, IAFSM took time to honor our coworkers and colleagues who have supported and encouraged good floodplain and stormwater management here in Illinois.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Micheal Sutfin of the City of Ottawa was awarded the IAFSM Floodplain Manager of the Year Award. Sitting at the confluence of the Fox and Illinois Rivers, the City of Ottawa is one of Illinois’ most flood prone communities. Ottawa has frequent flood events. Upstream development on both of these watersheds is only going to increase Ottawa’s susceptibility to flooding. Following two major floods in 2006, Mr. Sutfin and local officials set about to change the community’s exposure to floods. Among other things, Mr. Sutfin and the City have: bought out or mitigated many of the most flood prone structures in town, formed an active local flood committee, held public meetings on flood maps, established a flood warning system, and conducted city wide surveys to better identify flood risk. The City has joined the Community Rating System Program at a Class 5. Ottawa is expected to soon rise to a class 2 community, making it the best in Illinois and #2 in the nation!
Village of Montgomery
This year’s Stormwater Management Award winner is the Village of Montgomery. The Village has developed and implemented a stormwater management and biodiversity program that both encourages natural landscapes and helps to reduce flood losses. Montgomery is a rapidly growing community. Like many communities in this part of the state, loss of open space, aquifer recharge, stormwater management, and pollution control are ongoing concerns.
The Village of Montgomery Naturalized Stormwater Mangement Facility Design, Planting and Management Plan Guidelines has become a model program. The same plan was awarded the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness 2010 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award.
Village of Machesney Park
The Village of Machesney Park was recognized for their efforts in obtaining grants to acquire flood-prone structures and convert the property into open space. The Village received a grant of $3 million from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to acquire 36 properties and $1 million in matching funds from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Village has submitted a request for an additional $1.6 million from IEMA to acquire additional properties.
Special recognition was given to Tammy Scott, of McMahon Associates, for her excellence in preparing the applications; to Karen Lemmons, Community Development Director, for her overall management of the project; and to Jack Peterson, land acquisition agent, for his role in implementing the project.
The Village has fought hard to represent the interests of the property owners.
JOURNALISM AND PUBLIC EDUCATION AWARD
The Ottawa Delivered
This year’s Journalism award goes to The Ottawa Delivered. Ottawa Delivered is a 15,000-circulation weekly interactive newspaper and daily online news service covering Ottawa, IL and its surrounding communities. They publish a daily internet paper with constantly streaming stories. Once weekly they publish a paper version of all important news of the week. In addition to their own web based media delivery they use the publicly available media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. They can broadcast news almost as fast as it becomes news.
Ottawa Delivered has attended every Flood Commission meeting in the City of Ottawa. The paper has been instrumental in developing and implementing the City Flood Threat Recognition and Response Plan. The editor now has the ability to send out an alert via all social media systems including emails the 7000 email auto subscribers.
The paper is very accurate in their reporting of flood activities in the community. The City has used the paper to reach out to the public to inform them of significant changes in the floodplain maps, Ottawa Delivered did a stellar job in reaching the public with very accurate information.
Richard J. Roths
IAFSM’s most prestigious award was presented to Richard J. Roths. Rich’s professional work started in planning in Winnebago and then DeKalb Counties. Rich went on to work at the state level as a local floodplain programs field advisor. Rich was instrumental in helping local officials better understand floodplain management Rich also worked for Northern Illinois Planning Council adding to their credibility as an floodplain management agency. Rich was one of the seven founding members of the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management. Rich also helped design the Association’s Certified Floodplain Manager program in 2000. Rich moved on to the six states in FEMA Region V. As an experience floodplain manager and planning, Rich was a natural leader in planning activities and mitigation projects. Finally Rich moved on to work for URS, an international consultant on mitigation.
Rich was presented the Lifetime Award as he retires from years of service to the State, the NFIP, and the professions of both floodplain management and planning.
2011 IAFSM Awards Committee: