City moving on floodwater project
By Suzanne Werre
The city took its first official steps Monday night toward moving ahead with the proposed floodwater project designed by Moore Engineering, voting to establish a "benefitted area" (within the city limits) of the project and authorizing Moore Engineering to prepare a report defining the proposed plan.
The commission has been working on a floodwater drainage plan for several months, and in mid-May, Moore Engineering presented its plan to re-route the water that collects at the Old 83 slough, which is at the intersection of US 83 and North Summit Street, bringing it along the Old Highway 83 loop and into Pryor’s slough, leaving the southwest end of Pryor’s slough through an underground pipe system beneath Borchardt Ave., where it will empty into the natural gravity drainage area that eventually leads south of Underwood’s lagoon.
The city commissioners have determined they will definitely be doing the project, which is currently estimated at about $2.3 million dollars, and has narrowed down the finance possibilities to two. The state water commission has already agreed to pay for half of the project; the city will have to come up with the other half.
Commissioners agree they would like to see the city pay for the project by using a combination of a half-cent sales tax and special assessments. Implementing a half-cent sales tax would require a vote by the people, and would potentially be on this November’s ballot so the city would not have to have a special election.