Midland Business Alliance President Provides Testimony to U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on GLBR Flooding Issues

In early May, Tony Stamas submitted written testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development 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).

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 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 Corps of Engineers, FEMA, USDA, 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.”

The Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies has jurisdiction over the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Civil 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.

Stamas and the MBA asked the subcommittee to support greater funding for the Corps of Engineers and to urge the Corps “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.”

The MBA Board of Directors recently created the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure (ACI).

“The focus of this task force is on finding options – through community involvement and the advice of experts – to help mitigate the frequency and severity of flooding in Midland and the GLBR,” said J.W. Fisher, MBA Board of Directors and ACI Chair.

The committee is made up of MBA board members, members of the community at large, an MBA staff representative, and representatives from the Four Lakes Task Force, Midland County and the City of Midland (ex officio).

“As the advisory committee makes progress on initial planning, more information will be coming in the weeks ahead,” said Fisher.
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