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Montevideo, Minn., looking to fund levee work in 2013

Sheet pilings were placed last year as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to raise the levee system in Montevideo. Tribune file photo

MONTEVIDEO -- City council members in Montevideo are looking for ways to raise $3 million to $3.5 to allow completion of the flood levee upgrade in 2013.

Council members held a special work session on Tuesday to explore options ranging from city bonding to obtaining state bond funds towards the work, according to City Manager Steve Jones.

The city is currently working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a three-phase project to upgrade its entire levee system to provide protection for a 100-year flood event.

The city obtained $7 million in federal funds towards the work, and $2.2 million in state funds. It has also committed approximately $1 million of its own funds.

However, costs have risen since the levee project was initially authorized. New estimates show another $3 million to $3.5 million is needed to complete the third phase of work.

Planned for 2013, the third phase of work would involve raising the original 1969 levee.

There is sufficient funding for the phase two work that is planned this year. It will involve raising the U.S. Highway 212 levee.

City staff and council members will continue to explore a number of options to raise the needed funds so that the levee improvements can be continued in 2013, said the city manager.

Council members also received good news on the flood mitigation front at their regular meeting. The state is providing additional mitigation funds that will allow the city to purchase three more homes in the Smith Addition for removal from the flood plain.

The city's flood buyout program has removed over 100 of the 120 homes in the floodplain in the Smith Addition since the 1997 flood.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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