Contract approved to review flooding issues near Douglas

Work to find solutions to a decades-old flooding issue near Douglas will soon begin, thanks to the approval of a contract by the Cochise County Board of Supervisors.

Meeting as the County’s Flood Control District, the Board voted to move forward with an agreement with JE Fuller, an Arizona-based specialized engineering firm, for a design concept to help resolve drainage problems in the Bay Acres neighborhood. The cost of the work will be $78,020.

Engineering & Natural Resources Director Jackie Watkins explained the Bay Acres subdivision had been built in the 1960’s, before State regulations allowed County review of developments, resulting in no plan to deal with rainwater runoff. Instead, the developer built earth dikes, causing flooding to occur along Washington Avenue, neighboring Highway 80, and within the Bay Acres area.

“This project seeks a feasible solution to reduce flooding in these areas without unduly increasing flood threat in others,” Watkins said.

In other business, a grant award of $20,000 was approved from The Nature Conservancy to help support the continued monitoring of the Cochise County San Pedro Watershed projects.

The County has been monitoring baseline rainfall and runoff, as well as project effectiveness, at both current and future water capture sites, including the completed Palominas and Horseshoe Draw Recharge Projects, and at Riverstone, and Bella Vista, earmarked for eventual development near Hereford and Sierra Vista respectively.

The grant will help offset the cost of the annual contract with JE Fuller of $120,567 to monitor and report on those projects. The Nature Conservancy has now donated $153,015 toward monitoring costs since 2015.

“Their contributions have helped to defray the monitoring costs borne by the County and show concrete support of the recharge projects,” said Watkins.