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Flood mitigation tops Granite Falls Council agenda

GRANITE FALLS -- News that the city will be receiving $2 million of the $2.2 million originally sought in flood mitigation monies for the coming year shaped the agenda Monday for the Granite Falls City Council.

The recent confirmation from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources of the mitigation monies was welcome news to the city, which has a long list of flood mitigation projects it's addressing, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.

The city earlier had been assured it would receive $1 million of the requested funds and had committed the funds to improving its levee.

Council members approved a low bid $937,900 by Duininck Bros. Inc., as part of that effort to improve a section of the north levee reach. The improvement is part of a phased project to raise the city's main levee from the area of the city public works building and Richter Field upstream.

Council members also acted to call for bids for repairing a 1,100-foot-long stretch of Dike Road in Stony Run Township. The project carries an estimated $380,000 cost.

When the Minnesota River rises to a certain elevation during flood events, a portion of its flow washes over the road and follows a glacial overflow channel. The diversion of roughly one-third of the flood-level flow on the river reduces the flood danger to the downtown area of the city, but that portion of the township road was washed out in the 1997, 2001 and 2010 floods.

The new plan calls for rebuilding the gravel road in this area with sloped concrete, rock riprap and bituminous to prevent it from being washed away during a flood. The elevation of the road will be set at a point to allow the natural overflow to occur during flooding.

Plans call for awarding the project in late September to allow work this fall.

The city council also discussed flood mitigation projects to project two commercial properties that are located along the overflow channel. The businesses are the Granite Floral greenhouse on the city's western edge and Wing-Bain Funeral Home located near where the overflow channel reaches the Minnesota River.

Council members also discussed possible mitigation efforts for residential properties south of the former City Hall.

Tom Cherveny

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

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