Keota approves drainage action

By John Butters, The JOURNAL


Keota residents living on the northwest side of town will be getting some flood relief, following council action Tuesday.

City council members approved a resolution to award a contract for the northwest drainage project to the lowest bidder. The meeting was conducted Tuesday, due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

On the advice of their consulting engineer Aaron Gwinnup of HR Green, the council did not sign or approve a specific contract. Gwinnup suggested the council delay the final action on the project until additional funding paperwork was completed.

The low bid for the drainage work came in at $179,750, an amount that Gwinnup said was within his company?s  projections.

Stormwater runoff from farm fields has been a long-standing problem for homes on Keota?s north side. Several solutions have been discussed over the years, including building a retention pond. Landowners resisted that solution because it would take a large amount of land out of production.

The solution proposed by the engineering firm, and agreed to by both the city and the landowners, is to build an ag-berm that would surround the northern portion of the city. The berm would slope upward to about 3 to 4 feet in height and be completely tillable.

Gwinnup said the berm would hold back water during heavy rains and prevent topsoil from leaching out of the fields. The berm would be as much as 100 feet in width at some locations in the fields.

The council has obtained the easements necessary to begin work on the project and Public Works Director Kevin Slaubaugh said contractors are ready to go on the project as soon as they receive permission from the city council.

The project will be funded from the State Revolving Fund and is linked to the new storm sewer project recently completed by the city.

Gwinnup said that by merging the projects, the drainage work will cost the city very little and could result in a positive balance of $30,000 after all work has been completed.