Palm Coast - The City of Palm Coast will provide information on its enhanced stormwater management program at a pair of public outreach meetings to be held Aug. 5 from 1-3 p.m. at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Pkwy. NE and Aug. 20 from 5-7 p.m. at City Hall, 160 Lake Avenue.

At the meetings, City staff will share details about the Master Plan now under way, explain the new approach being taken, and discuss immediate priorities for improving the drainage system. Fire Chief Jerry Forte will also briefly highlight hurricane preparedness efforts by the City and share some helpful take-away tips. Refreshments will be provided at the Aug. 5 meeting. At the Aug. 20 meeting, attendees will be able to enjoy Food Truck Tuesday in Town Center.

The enhanced, comprehensive stormwater management plan to improve the drainage system city-wide launched this past spring, and projects will be ongoing for several years. The plan will address drainage issues resulting from an aging infrastructure and years of growth.

The Master Plan takes a big-picture look at the swales, ditches, canals, water control structures, pipes, and drainage basins and how they work together to protect homes and businesses from flooding. New solutions will focus more on the ditches and freshwater canals and will have a greater long-term impact on improving the drainage system across Palm Coast.

"While swale work is an important part of our ongoing maintenance, the focus right now is on the ditches and canals," Stormwater Operations Manager Don Schrager said. "Work on the ditches and canals benefits entire streets and City sections as they connect to the drainage system as a whole, maximizing the benefit of tax dollars and bringing the best value to residents in the long run."

City crews have already completed a large-scale ditch maintenance and pipe cleaning project in the W Section. The ditch line from Woodside Drive south to Pine Lakes was re-established, and all drainage pipes were cleaned. The project resulted in immediate positive effects on the drainage system. Plans are now being developed to address other localized drainage issues in the E, F and R sections in the near future.

In addition to stormwater experts who will be on hand for questions, Customer Service technicians will be available to assist in providing updates to previously made swale requests and educate the public on Palm Coast Connect, the City's new citizen engagement tool. You can report concerns or access the growing Information Center - or you can register and track the progress of how your concern is handled. Palm Coast Connect is online at www.palmcoastconnect.com - and the free app is now available in both the Apple and Google Play App Stores.