McGregor stormwater improvement project appraisals to begin

By Caitlin Bittner

     As many McGregor residents are already aware, the City of McGregor has started the process of trying to reduce storm damage following flash flooding. While the project has yet to produce visual results, it is getting off to a good start.
     According to City Administrator Lynette Sander, right now, the project is in the appraisal process with Kane Appraisal Services in Dubuque. “We need to do appraisal to determine a fair market value in order to purchase easements in and around McGregor,” explained Sander.
     Following the purchase of easements, construction will begin; however, a date for its commencement has yet to be set. “The construction depends on the acquisition process,” Sander commented, noting that the recent storms may also play a part in when construction starts.
     The storms that have occurred during the past few weeks may have affected the availability of contractors for the project. “Right now, a lot of contractors are just trying to catch up on the projects they already have going, and that may push construction for our project into next year,” said Sander.
     The the delay of construction, is unfortunate, but it is not expected to  cause any big problems. In order to receive funding for the project, Sander added that there is an established completion date of November 2015.
     The stormwater improvement project is expected to be fully funded by grants. The grants assisting in the project are a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant and a Community Development Block Grant. The FEMA grant will provide over $2 million in funding, of which the city is required to match by 15 percent. Because of this, the city applied for a second grant in order to help match the 15 percent, equaling $300,000.
     With no cost falling to the city itself—barring any cost overruns—this project looks to be a very good investment for the future of McGregor, especially where keeping property safe is concerned.

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