AP NEWS

Sauk County seeks input on hazard mitigation plan

March 18, 2019

As Sauk County officials prepare to update a plan designed to lessen the impact of natural disasters, such as flooding, they are seeking input from the public.

Sauk County Emergency Management Director Jeff Jelinek said the county’s current hazard mitigation plan was prepared in 2005. An advisory committee has been looking at potential updates, and stakeholders, such as villages, towns and cities, are seeking feedback from citizens.

Jelinek said the update is part of a federal requirement and is necessary in order to qualify for certain grants.

He said the plan is likely to include new recommendations from state and federal agencies for flood mitigation projects, such as retention ponds, along the Baraboo River. He also said plan developers have been working with a University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist to predict the future prevalence and severity of flooding.

The plan centers on overall disaster planning, Jelinek said. Changes will not affect homeowners or touch on planning and zoning issues.

“This is just looking at what we can do to lessen the likelihood of something happening in the community,” Jelinek said. “We rank different hazards, and we know high water and flooding has been a major issue for our communities.”

Sauk County received $23,526 in federal funds to update the plan. In December, the Sauk County Board voted to authorize a $18,900 contract with Civi Tek Consulting, a Lake Mills-based municipal planning services firm, to oversee the plan update.

Jelinek said members of the public must provide comments by April 1, and the updated plan may go before the Sauk County Board for final adoption later that month.

A draft of the current plan is available on the county’s website. Those who wish to receive more information or provide comment may contact Jelinek’s office.