The time and date of a public meeting date with the Grand River Dam Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been proposed - but, a Miami leader is asking organizers to make the meeting more accommodating to the public.
“I have a problem with the time of the meeting,” Miami City Manager Michael Spurgeon said.
Spurgeon learned Wednesday that the public meeting - at which residents can pose questions regarding this area's proneness to flooding - is set for 10 a.m. Aug. 29 at Miami City Hall.
“Thousands of people have been directly or indirectly affected by the flood event of July 4,” Spurgeon said. “Holding the meeting between 10 a.m. and noon could reduce participation by 50 percent.”
Spurgeon said Thursday that he is appreciative of the willingness of Congressman Dan Boren to facilitate the meeting and wants to take nothing away from the efforts.
“I just don't believe that holding the meeting at 10 a.m. is truly accommodating the public,” Spurgeon said. “College classes are back in session and school has started in the Miami School District. Both have administrators and teaches that have been impacted by the recent flood. Also, victims displaced by the flood are getting back into the workforce. Asking for time off to attend a two-hour meeting is asking a great deal.”
The city has asked Boren's staff to reconsider the time of the meeting and push it to 5 p.m.
“The meeting needs to be an evening meeting and, preferably, not on a Wednesday - that is a church night.” Spurgeon said.
If the meeting can't be pushed to the evening, Spurgeon said he is suggesting that all entities agree on a future date, possibly after Labor Day.
“I am encouraged that the wheels are turning,” Spurgeon said. “But, this needs to be a meeting that is convenient to residents and business owners.”
Spurgeon has also asked for an accounting of who will be representing the government entities upon full approval of a meeting time and date.
Officials want a productive meeting at which the public can ask questions and receive answers.
“We need the decision makers at this meeting,” Spurgeon said.