Tax dollars at work: Virginia Beach gives update on flood protection spending

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Posted at 10:43 AM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 18:15:43-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach City Council met on Tuesday afternoon, and kicking off the session was a discussion on the flood protection program.

Engineers and managers with Public Works updated city leaders on the stormwater and flood protection capital improvement program that is costing taxpayers more than half a billion dollars.

In November, the majority of Virginia Beach residents voted in favor of a $567.5 million bond referendum. The result means a tax hike of about $10 to $14 per Virginia Beach household.

The flooding protection program includes 21 projects in six flooding-prone areas of the city like Bow Creek, Princess Anne Plaza Golf Course, and Easter Shore Drive.

Karmia Daye lives in the Princess Anne/Plaza area, and says while her street doesn't flood, surrounding streets can get bad.

"I do feel bad for the residents who have their vehicles that may have to be parked on the street and putting their property in jeopardy," said Daye.

During a council meeting held in February, Councilmember Michael Berlucchi said in reference to the flooding, “It’s destruction of property. It sometimes represents separation of families, impacts on work and family life.” He added, "It’s just tremendously devastating to our community, and I think that the human impact is what led to an overwhelming amount of support of voters for the bond referendum.”

Mayor Robert “Bobby” Dyer said, “Without the funding from this referendum, the completion of these projects would have taken 40 years to complete.”

The funds will pay for important infrastructure including flood barriers and pump stations and will take about 10 years to complete.

Currently, construction is underway on Club House Road not far from Bow Creek Recreation Center. Some of the area is blocked off and multiple, new stormwater drains are visible. A representative for Public Works said that project should be complete by August.