By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

STANFIELD — Paying for the proposed survey of Stanfield's flood plain just got a whole lot more difficult.

The Local Improvement District, or LID, that the Stanfield City Council wanted to use to finance the survey cannot go forward due to a little thing called capital improvement.

A capital improvement is anything that improves the structure of the city, like new police cars or buildings. A survey is not a permanent part of the city's structure and so cannot financed with a LID.

Attorneys for Stanfield had tentatively approved the go-ahead for the LID until they discovered a statute that stated an LID can only be used for capital improvement of the city.

"If we wanted to use the LID to improve the ditch," Shelley Bonnett, Stanfield City Recorder said, "it would have been fine. But, we have already improved the ditch, so it doesn't do us much good."

The city council decided Tuesday evening to still ask property owners in the flood plain to contribute to the survey; although the city won't have any leverage to make anyone pay.

The city is appealing to those landowners that pay flood insurance to give money toward the survey. If money is received, the city will put it into a trust account until the full amount of $40,000 is collected. If all the money is not collected, it will be reimbursed to the people who contributed.

Landowners who pay flood insurance pay between $400 to $1,200 a year for flood insurance, according to Bonnett. With the survey, the city can be certified that it is not in a flood plain any longer — which will benefit everyone who lives in Stanfield. No federal grants are given to cities which are on a flood plain. That leaves the city of Stanfield out when money is given to cities by the federal government.

"This will help everyone," said Val Whitehead, Stanfield city councilor.

The appeal letter will be sent out soon, with a public hearing scheduled for Oct. 28 in Stanfield.

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