Merriam is taking steps to buy properties in its flood-prone downtown

Kansas City-based real estate appraisal company Bliss Associates won a contract with the city to begin evaluating properties along Turkey Creek.

Last summer, Merriam entered into a design agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Upper Turkey Creek Flood Risk Management project. 

Before USACE can finish designing the project, Merriam is surveying downtown properties to determine whether it will need to purchase land to build levees or flood walls.

“Just because we complete an appraisal, it doesn’t mean that the acquisition will occur. It will just help us for planning purposes,” Public Works Director Celia Kumke told the City Council on Monday.

Turkey Creek is part of a larger system that stretches into Kansas City, Kansas, and flows into the Kansas River. Although the creek has not experienced extreme flooding since the late ’90s, potential flooding at Turkey Creek could have a devastating effect on the surrounding businesses and homes.

Read more in the Kansas City Business Journal.