Pacific officials say they are ready to begin work with a flood mitigation consultant to help the city plan for future floods.

Officials said flood experts can provide expertise to help protect certain areas of the city from rising water and help attract outside funding for flood mitigation projects.

The city published a request for qualifications (RFQs) seeking an engineering firm to aid the city with flood mitigation and received a total of 11 applicants.

After narrowing the list down to four, a three-person operations committee met with the applicants.

Committee members Mike Pigg, Carol Johnson and Greg Rahn identified H. R. Green as the desired consultant.

The full board of aldermen will be asked at the next meeting to approve the selection and authorize the city administrator to negotiate a contract for the work. The contract also will come back to aldermen for final approval.

Johnson said meeting with the four applicants had been an educational experience for committee members, who learned that the city could do much more to lessen the severity of flooding than aldermen previously understood.

She said each of the firms interviewed shared what other cities are doing to protect property from flooding.

Once a contract is approved, the selected firm will look at the possibility of a neighborhood project near the shopping plaza on East Osage and reach into every corner and recess of the flood-prone areas of the city.

“The (selected flood mitigation) consultant would come into city and look at infrastructure where the last flood has been,” said Johnson, adding the committee is anxious to move the flood study forward as an aid to future financial assistance.

“We have to have a flood master plan to submit for funding,” Johnson said.

“The selected firms not only talked about how to prevent and prepare for flooding, but had experience in locating funding to help municipalities build flood mitigation projects,” she said. “One study showed that after eight years the consultant got $1.1 million (in grants) for their city.”