City to discuss construction schedule for flood protection

A potential construction schedule for flood protection in the city of Minot will be discussed this week at two city committee meetings.

Engineers will present preliminary information about costs, schedules and priorities to the Minot City Council’s Finance and Improvements Committee on Tuesday and Public Works and Safety Committee on Wednesday. The meetings begin at 4:15 p.m. in City Hall and are open to the public.

The Preliminary Implementation Planning document shows environmental studies and detailed design work starting this year. Construction on the early phases of flood protection would start in 2015.

The construction phase is estimated to finish in 2025. However, all timelines and schedules are dependent on funding sources, permits and approvals.

An estimated timeline for constructing subprojects is based on identified priorities. Subprojects are portions of the project that can be built in phases or independently. They include downtown and Fourth Avenue Northeast floodwalls and work on features such as bridges, protection at Roosevelt Park and Zoo and river diversions.

Priority subprojects are those that have features that would reduce the flood risk to critical regional infrastruture.

Second in priority are subprojects identified by the city as critical to transportation corridors and municipal infrastructure or significant in terms of number of properties protected. Difficulty of flood fighting in these areas also was considered.

A third priority are those subprojects that are likely to require less time and effort to permit.

The information released to the city council also describes funding sources for large-scale flood protection plans in Grand Forks and Fargo. The review of these funding sources is meant to help the City of Minot identify potential ways to pay for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project.

The completed $235 million Grand Forks project received 47 percent of its funding from federal sources and 22 percent from the state. The $74 million local share was funded through a variety of sources, including general obligation bonds repaid through property-tax levies and special assessments and revenue bonds repaid with sales tax proceeds.

The Fargo-Moorhead flood protection plan is estimated at $1.8 billion. The federal government is to provide $800 million, or 44 percent. Governmental entities in Minnesota plan to contribute $100 million, or 6 percent. North Dakota state and local governmental entities are planning to each contribute $449 million, covering 50 percent of the cost between the two. The local money will come equally from sales taxes in Cass County and in Fargo.