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Granite Falls moving ahead with Prentice Street floodwall base

GRANITE FALLS -- Granite Falls City Council members adopted policy changes that will allow the city to move forward with a proposal to develop a floodwall base between Prentice Street homes and the Minnesota River.

The action on Monday will allow the city to acquire property that is identified as needed for the flood wall project, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.

City Engineer Dave Berryman has proposed building the wall on a route parallel to the river. The wall would be 2 to 2½ feet tall, with a base up to 30 feet wide with a 6-foot-wide top. It will be specially designed so that rapid deployment barriers -- large, collapsible bags that are machine filled -- can be placed atop it in anticipation of floodwaters.

It eliminates the need for building a sandbag wall with human labor during flood events, while also minimizing the visual impact of erecting a permanent, earthen levee.

Lavin said engineers will be working in the days ahead to identify the footprint for the flood wall. They will place flags to outline the perimeter. The work will show what private properties may be affected by the project, and which may be necessary to acquire to allow it to go forward. Previous flood mitigation projects in the city have identified flood-vulnerable areas, and all properties in the area were eligible for acquisition if the owners were willing sellers. In this case, only properties specifically identified within the area will be eligible for acquisition, making the policy changes needed.

The city will be hosting a neighborhood meeting with residents along Prentice Street once the footprint has been identified and it is known which properties are affected and how.

Tom Cherveny

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

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