Officials in Grafton are pursuing a scaled-down project that would provide flood protection for at least some of the northeastern North Dakota city because of diminishing prospects for a larger, federally funded project.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers several years ago proposed a $42 million Park River flood control project to provide protection for the entire city, but Mayor Chris West told the Grand Forks Herald that the project didn’t receive the $31.5 million federal share of funding that it needed. The Park River runs through north Grafton on its way to the Red River.
The City Council has decided to hire an engineering firm to design a smaller project, after three separate flood events last spring resulted in an estimated $2 million in damage to property in the community of 4,200 people. More than 500 homes had damage from sewer backups. Flooding also caused damage in 2009 and 2002.
“We’re revisiting our corps project, to see if there’s a different option,” West said. “We’re doing something to help our community, and looking ahead.”
Grafton has $10 million to put toward a scaled-down flood control project – $3.5 million in funds from a city sales tax and budget reserves and about $10 million the state allocated in 2010 for its share of the corps project. A scaled-down version could reduce the city’s flood plain and possibly provide some relief from rising flood insurance costs to local residents and businesses.
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