January 29, 2014 | Volume 101 / Number 5

Moving Levee A Possibility

City Pondering Options, Could Propose Moving It

With the deadline for Levee plans looming in the next five months, the Glasgow Levee committee that was set up in December has been working to take action and set plans in order to prevent consequences. The city must have plans to take care of several deficiencies by July to bring it up to Army Corps of Engineers standards.

Bonnie Davidson / The Courier
This portion of the levee is in talks for a proposed move. From 7th St. S to 10th St. S the levee may be shifted off encroachment of property owners. The Levee Safety Committee is looking at options before a plan is finalized to fix all the deficiencies with the levee.

Keeping those standards means being able to accept funds from FEMA to rebuild infrastructures and damage caused by a sever flood. If the list of items isn't taken care of it could also mean taxpayers would have to carry flood insurance. Due to several encroachments on the Levee from property owners the committee is thinking about proposing to move 1,875 feet of the Levee over and relocate an access road by 538 feet.

The committee met on Jan. 10 to discuss those options and had a phone conference on Jan. 23 with the Corps of Engineers and a few representatives from the DNRC (Department of National Resources and Conservation). They warned that moving the Levee could mean hiring engineers, geo-technical specialists, and making sure that EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirements are met. The extra cost for those provisions could add up.

Former mayor Dan Carney is heading the Levee committee and exploring different options to make plans that cover all the problems with the Levee. He told the engineers that they had already taken actions on a few items, such as removing all the trees and brush mentioned around the Levee with the help of a county dozer. Mike Kaiser, a member of the committee explained that the encroachments on personal property is a big concern.

"The area that jogs in on other property is where we're looking at," Kaiser said at the meeting. "It cuts across around 15 people, people we need easements from. It would be easer to relocate leaving only to land owners we need easements from."

The committee had looked into the cost of a dirt moving company and got a ballpark figure on what the project could possibly cost. Around $330,000 to move the dirt for the Levee would be the estimate on the price per yard. That price may not be completely accurate, but it gave the committee an idea on what plans for moving the Levee could add up to. The portion of the Levee to move would be from 7th St. S. to 10th St. S., and could also mean moving the dike.

"We're looking at a lasting solution that we don't have to fool with anymore," Carney said. "We'll take each item and address them in the plan."

While the move of the Levee could potentially save the city from some lawsuits it could also mean taking several years to put the plans into play. The engineers out of Omaha explained that this would be a big plan and that there would be some hurdles to get across. They also said that the main focus is to finish just the plans on how to take care of issues with the Levee, mentioning that the city will need to give time frames on plans of completion.

Other issues the committee will have to look at and address are roads that might cross over the Levee and could be causing some rutting. Telephone poles and fences may also need to be removed in order to meet full compliance. By coming up with plans the city may be able to find grants and other money to complete some of the work that is required. Carney told the engineers that he may send in segments of the plans in hopes of suggestions or items to fix before they turn in the completed plans.

The city will have to partner with utility companies, property owners and the county on some portions of the work. The committee followed the conference with a short work session where they discussed resolutions on several of the items listed. They hope to meet again in a month to continue the process before the deadline arrives.

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