No consensus surfaced at Tuesday's backdoor meeting as students from
The discussion capped weeks of student-led research and analysis on July's flood, which swept dozens of
"It's not just one problem or just one group of people. Everyone has to do something because we are going to flood again," Sowers said, speaking in her role as an environmentalist.
For Sowers, the mock simulation was personal.
Her father owns
The Mount Hebron project, led by the
"The flood provided the perfect opportunity for this ongoing project," said
The student-led discussion echoed actual discussions between the public and private sector, said
"I wish our private meetings were so civil," Hinson said.
At the student debate, a coalition of city planners and developers pushed environmentalists and shop owners to recognize development in the area was not at fault as they proposed to halt future renovations and development until the county develops a plan to manage the issue.
The suggestion drew critique from
"You're putting sentiment over safety," said
Hinson said the community's emotional attachment to old
But the county employee declined to delve into the cause of the flood.
"I won't touch that. ... I like my job," Hinson joked.
Students proposed fixes like replacing impervious surfaces, which cannot absorb water, with permeable pavement throughout
But how to fund the ideas was a major hurdle. Students floated unconventional ideas like requiring flood insurance and even floating millions of dollars in bonds using Tax Increment Financing.
The activity was piloted by Mount Hebron biology teacher
Cassetta said she was impressed by how hard students worked to apply scientific analyses to real-life issues.
"This activity allowed them to see this issue from a different lens with a deeper insight," Cassetta said.
Krishna, who posed as a city planner, said the activity allowed him to appreciate the sentimental value of the historic district, a value Krishna said he under-appreciated, as the county balances preserving the town's historic nature with preservation of the safety of the town's occupants.
"I didn't know there were so many different ideas [on] how we think about the situation," Krishna said.
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