Just how close the levee committee is to filling out that check list isn’t clear. When asked about the progress toward getting a Corps of Engineers certification committee chairman Thomas Graham, Jr. told the Times Herald: “I won’t comment on that.”
“They say they are trying,” said Wichman, “but it is my understanding that each time the levee board gets something done the corps seems to come along with two more things for them to do to achieve certification. I’m afraid we will never get this through the bureaucracy of the corps. They will mire this down in bureaucratic muck and it will go on for an eternity.”
Some other officials though have a more positive outlook including County Attorney Grant Swartzentruber. “The county, the committee and the corps are continuing to work to get into compliance,” he said. “The corps appears optimistic they (the levee committee) will come into compliance. They are moving in the right direction.”
The county though, is uncertain when the levee committee will reach the final destination of certification. “We want them to get into compliance sooner than later,” said Swartzentruber.
“It would be a huge asset to get it certified,” added Wichman. “I hope the levee board stays on the Corps of Engineers. That is the only way this will get done.”
Getting the Bennington Levee back onto the corps’ list of certified levees will remain a priority. “We know it is an old levee with a lot work that may have to be done,” said Myers. “The thing now is just get it certified.”