MBA Provides Testimony on Flooding Issues to U.S. House Subcommittee
June 22, 2021
In early June, Tony Stamas submitted written testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Stamas was representing the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) as its President and CEO and wrote on behalf of the businesses and citizens of Midland County and the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR).
The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies. Due to the pandemic, testimony for the subcommittee’s Fiscal Year 2022 Public Witness Hearing was requested in writing and will be printed in the subcommittee’s permanent record.
In the testimony, Stamas explained the levels of damage from the May 2020 flooding and dam breaches, as well as the history of flooding in Midland and the Tittabawassee River Watershed. The testimony included an overview of the losses, the rebuilding efforts and the continuing progress in the GLBR.
“Following the May 2020 flood event, and the subsequent major disaster declaration, we have benefited greatly from the continued support of the USDA, Corps of Engineers, FEMA, NOAA and EPA,” started the testimony. “None of our recovery efforts to date would have been possible without our federal government partners, including the remarkable efforts of Representative John Moolenaar, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, and members of the bipartisan Michigan congressional delegation.”
Stamas and the MBA asked the subcommittee to “support Representative Moolenaar’s report language request to urge the USDA to participate and coordinate as an essential federal stakeholder, with other federal partners, on developing and supporting measures to mitigate the severity of future flood events to protect Midland and the GLBR.”
In 2021, the MBA Board of Directors formed the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure (ACI) to examine any infrastructure issue that impacts the quality of life and economic vitality of the Midland area. “Our first task is to find options to help reduce the frequency and severity of flooding in the Midland area and build resilience for the future,” said J.W. Fisher, ACI Chair.
The committee is made up of MBA board members, members of the community at large, an MBA staff representative, and ex officio (nonvoting) representatives from Midland County, the City of Midland and the Four Lakes Task Force.
“We plan to collaborate with Midland County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the Tittabawassee River Watershed,” said Lee Ann Keller, ACI Co-chair. “Overall, we want to find the best ways to work with local, state and federal partners to address the flooding issues.”