McGregor FEMA project underway after 5.5-year wait

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

After 5.5 years of dealing with easements, studies, mitigation and other permitting issues, the city of McGregor is finally ready to go to bid on its FEMA stormwater protection project.

“It’s been a long time coming,” noted Tim Cutsforth, of engineering firm HR Green, who spoke about the project at a special council meeting Nov. 4. 

The project will include construction and modification of public infrastructure, including earthwork, pavement, sidewalk, storm sewer, debris catchment, channel lining, spillway and more. Basins will be built and/or enlarged, some with spillways, so that, if water exceeds capacity, it won’t all be released at once. Trash racks will be developed to catch debris, allowing intake structures to continue to function during heavy rainfall.

Work will be done on property in and around McGregor, including up Methodist Hollow (along Center Street), Ash Street, Buell Avenue, Klein Brewery Road, Kimberly Avenue, Garnavillo Avenue and the Great River Road.

Cutsforth said, once completed, the project will have a large impact on the city in the event of storms with large amounts of rainfall. For example, he said, for a 25-year storm, water will be lowered one-half to three-quarters of a foot.

Of the $2 million project, the city expects to pay just $55,000.

Cutsforth said bids will be collected until Nov. 18 and the city will have until Feb. 17 to award a contract. The project is anticipated to be completed by November of 2016.

Council appointment

At the meeting, the council planned to appoint someone to fill Joe Collins’ vacant council seat, but again pushed off the appointment, citing a desire to wait for the election results to be finalized. 

At that time, the race for two open seats (not including the Collins seat) had yet to be officially declared, with newcomer Jason Echard and incumbents Rogeta Halvorson and Joe Muehlbauer all within several votes of one another.

Collins resigned his seat in September, too late for it to be filled via the Nov. 3 election. At the time, the council chose to appoint a new council member rather than hold a special election.

The council agreed to meet again, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 5:30 p.m., in a special meeting, to make the appointment before the Nov. 15 deadline.

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