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Montevideo City Council reaches agreement to acquire clay site to updgrade levee system

MONTEVIDEO -- City Council members in Montevideo reached an agreement to assure a large supply of clay for an estimated $10.3 million project to upgrade the city's levee system.

Council members at the meeting Monday approved an agreement with landowner Arthur Starbeck.

It will allow the city to acquire clay borrow material from a site near the city. The city estimates it will need 50,000 cubic yards of clay for work this year, and another 300,000 cubic yards of clay next year, according to City Manager Steve Jones.

The city and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are currently in the first phase of work on upgrading the levee to meet the 100-year flood event standards.

The work this year is focusing on building 800 feet of new levee at the Canton Avenue intersection with Minnesota Highway 7 and raising the Parkway Drive Road.

Phase II work slated for next year includes building 2,400 feet of new levee, along with raising 4,500 feet of existing levee and raising 4,300 feet of U.S. Highway 212.

In other business Monday, council members reviewed the 2008 audit with representatives from Dana F. Cole & Company LLC and set dates in August for work sessions to prepare the 2010 budget.

The city had developed the 2009 budget with expectations of possibly losing as much as $300,000 in Local Government Aid payments. The city will be losing $115,245 in LGA payments in 2009 and $265,914 in 2010.

The city should be able to avoid cutting any full-time staff, but it will need to look at reductions in a variety of services and programs, Jones said.

Tom Cherveny

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

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