The Flood Control District of Maricopa County has been awarded the Core Values Overall Project of the Year Award from the International Association for Public Participation USA organization (IAP2 USA). The recognition was received for the many ways the public took part in the Pinnacle Peak West Area Drainage Master Study (PPW ADMS). The same project also received the General Project of the Year Award from the public participation organization.
Over the past 10 years, homes and businesses in north Scottsdale and northeast Phoenix have been flooded due to rainstorms. Some properties have experienced repeated or severe flooding. The PPW ADMS covers 95-square miles in northeast Maricopa County. The goal of the PPW ADMS public involvement process was to promote public awareness and understanding of the flood hazards in the community, to establish support for analyzing a potential solution for the largest flood hazard in the study area, and to engage the community in the process for the regional solution.
"The level of outreach and analysis was both a necessary and extraordinary effort by County staff," added District 2 Supervisor Steve Chucri. "This demonstrates that transparency plus early public engagement is a winning formula." In awarding the Flood Control District, the judging panel called the project "a fantastic model for the kind of conversations communities need to have", "the process ensured that everyone in the community is aware of their risk", and "decision makers were willing to place the decision in the hands of the public – not usually done outside of elections."
"Protecting residents and keeping families safe from floods is the Flood Control District’s top priority," said District 3 Supervisor Andy Kunasek. "FCD analyzed the flood risks, and has informed residents about those risks. These are the kinds of public conversations that should be happening in every flood-threatened community."
The IAP2 USA Core Values Awards recognize leading examples of public participation, which is based on the concept that people affected by a decision have the right to be a part of that decision. The annual awards are selected from dozens of entries across the United States, covering work in a variety of fields including municipal affairs, health care and local government projects. The awards were presented at the IAP2 North American Conference, Sept. 28-30 in Montreal, Canada.
The Flood Control District would like to express appreciation to GCI Communications for their work on the PPW ADMS public outreach process, and to the City of Scottsdale, City of Phoenix, and the Arizona State Land Department for their partnership in this project.