New map to give Ontario options

By JAMES TWOMEY

Ontario Floodplain Zoning Administrator

A new map of Ontario reflects an attempt to allow for more flexible zoning, repairs, and the retention of older buildings in our downtown area. This map was a result of the Ontario Village Board’s commitment to downtown redevelopment by using grant money to hire an engineering firm to establish a new type of area within our floodplain.

Every other community in the Kickapoo River Valley has a floodplain map that distinguishes between the “floodway” (where no homes, no new businesses and only small types of repairs are allowed) and a “flood fringe,” which gives citizens, property owners, and local government many more options, such as keeping a building in place by filling the basement with sand or elevating the house a few inches to allow it to be lived in and stay on the property tax rolls. Sadly, Ontario is the only village that never had this second option! This situation has been in effect for many decades and has resulted in a great disadvantage for Ontario when competing with Kendall, Viola, La Farge, Readstown, or Gays Mills for housing and business development. And, this situation created extremely high flood insurance rates for individuals and the village.

The new map outlines a “flood fringe” for Ontario. It was submitted to DNR for approval, but it seems to have been lost in the confusion that the pandemic and employee turnover created in 2020 and 2021.

The Ontario Village Board recently has been informed that new maps are being prepared by FEMA and the DNR for areas within the Kickapoo and Brush Creek rivers. The FEMA maps are the legally binding ones that state and local government must use for permits and insurance rates. Please contact your local, state, and federal representatives if you agree that Ontario needs to have a flood fringe. The deadline for public input is Jan. 17. Politicians are people, too. So, use please and thank you when writing to them!

This effort changes nothing about the previous floods and buyouts. However, it will give Ontario a fighting chance to save many downtown residences and businesses in the future. It will also allow for construction in the flood fringe by giving us a baseline elevation above which people can live and work!

Comments are closed.

  • Letter to the editor: Wilton Village Board’s letter to the public omits or skews information

    13 hours ago
    by

    By JESSICA BRANDAU | Wilton The following letter was handed out at the Village of Wilton board meeting on Monday […]


    Letter to the editor: Wilton Municipal Pool needs an operating landline phone

    13 hours ago
    by

    Lost in all the back and forth regarding the swimming pool is one not-so-minor fact. A fact Nate Beier attempted to make the village board aware of at the July 11 meeting.


    Letter to the editor: Can Wilton bury the hatchet?

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    My name is Sharon Baldwin. Though I make my home in the country, I have not lived farther than five miles from Wilton in my 60 years of life.


    Letter to the editor: Wilton pool is benefit to the community

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    Like many people who grew up in Wilton, I have such fond memories of the Wilton Pool from my childhood.


    Letter to the editor: Mighty Wilton has struck out

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    Mighty Wilton has struck out. I always thought Wilton was run well and had a lot to offer, was a town sought after as a place to live, was a town where people got along. But then every town has issues that all can’t seem to agree on — right now it’s the swimming pool in Wilton.


  • Letter to the editor: Teen girls terrorize town

    July 27th, 2022
    by

    It was mid-summer, July 2022, when a few teenage girls, looking to earn a little money, applied to be lifeguards at a small pool in the Village of Wilton.


    Letter to the editor: Welch served with honesty, integrity

    July 27th, 2022
    by

    I am the wife of Tim Welch, Village President of Wilton. Wilton is unique in that we have a swimming pool, campground and community center which most village clerks, presidents and boards do not need to contend with.


    Letter to the editor: A response to the Gjefles’ op-ed on abortion

    July 14th, 2022
    by

    The following is in response to Michael and Tammy Gjefle’s op-ed, which appeared in the County Line on July 7. 


    Letter to the editor: Life is precious

    July 7th, 2022
    by

    We were saddened last week reading the letters in the County Line concerning the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision in making it illegal to have an abortion.


    Your right to know: Judge was wrong to bar recordings of trial

    June 30th, 2022
    by

    Since 1979, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has allowed cameras and microphones in state courtrooms, subject to reasonable restrictions.


    Letter to the editor: Backward

    June 30th, 2022
    by

    “Backward,” Wisconsin’s new motto.


  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Archives