Published On: Wed, Mar 16th, 2011

City wades into flood control debate

HARTINGTON —  It took the Hartington City Council close to hour before making a decision on an option for flood control for the future safety of residents, businesses and property.

A study shows the current drainage in the southwest part of the city can not handle a heavy six or seven-inch downpour should it occur.
The conduit at Court and Cedar Street and the area between the nursing home and the mobile home court are the most vulnerable for flooding.
Carter Hubbard from Olsson and Associates, Lincoln, gave a brief overview on the flood control study.
Council members learned the cost of a flood control project could range between $200,000 and $270,000.
A requirement for securing a grant would include preparing for a 500-year storm.
“It has a chance of happening once in any given year,” Hubbard said.
In order to make applications for grants for the project, a Concept Design needs to be in place – the cost to complete the Concept Design will run a little over $26,000. The amount can be paid at the start of the new budget year.
It could take approximately three to four months before the Concept Design is in place, according to Hubbard.
Dan Kathol asked board members to make a commitment on moving ahead within a few years with the flood control project before any money is spent on the Concept Design.
“Spending the money now on the Concept Design will give us a better understanding of what needs to be done along with the projected cost of the project. It is an important step in determining when the project can get underway,” Kathol said.
The financing for the flood control project will be done through grants, sales tax, city bonding or a combination.
Board members agreed to go with the less expensive option for flood control which involves building a berm higher on one of the ponds along with expanding the holding pond in Westfield Acres.
A survey will be done on the property, which is owned by Bill Yates and has two flood control ponds.
The study will include borings into the soil to determine what is beneath the surface and to figure out the best location to take soil for building up the berm. The work needs to be completed in order to develop the Concept Design.
“Before the city signs any contract agreement to do the Concept Design study with Olsson & Associates, we want to have an agreement in place with the Yates family that they are comfortable with the project moving forward on their property in terms of any lease agreement and easements required if the project goes to the construction phase,” Kathol said.
Council members are also considering selling a narrow strip of land the city has been mowing. They questioned why the city even owns the property Lee and Nick Folkers told council members they would like to purchase a strip of land adjacent to the property where Folkers Brothers Garage is located.