- Associated Press - Saturday, February 15, 2014

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Ellettsville officials trying to combat persistent flooding problems are looking at a small property near two creeks as they take their first steps toward crafting a flood-mitigation plan.

The town council has approved buying the privately owned land in a flood plain off Ind. 46 where water usually pools when it rains, The Herald-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1j3NwiY ).

The parcel, which is vacant, would be used as a water detention area and park. Officials are still sorting out details.

Ellettsville has experienced severe flooding in each of the past four years. The most recent incident occurred just before Christmas and forced town departments out of Town Hall and into rented spaces at a nearby mall.

The former bank building in the town about five miles northwest of Bloomington has served as the Town Hall for about 50 years.

The Army Corps of Engineers studied the area in the 1990s and made recommendations, but few were implemented because of funding issues.

Council President Scott Oldham said he hopes to have a plan in place by the end of the year that will address both the flooding and what to do with the now-closed Town Hall.

The Indiana Department of Transportation will study the Ind. 46 split through Ellettsville to determine whether its construction has helped exacerbate the flooding.

The Department of Natural Resources will work to deepen the creeks so they can hold more water, reducing the likelihood of overflow.

The Corps of Engineers will conduct a new study of the area once the snow clears.

Oldham said purchasing the property near Ind. 46 was a recommendation in the Corps‘ initial study.

“It’s not going to be the only answer to our flooding problem; it does give us a start,” he said.

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Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com