An engineering firm has been hired by the Fort Dodge City Council to prepare drainage improvement plans intended to reduce flooding in the retail area on the east end of town.
Snyder & Associates Inc., of Ankeny, was awarded a $550,000 contract Monday night. The company will prepare the final design and do the necessary surveying for the east region storm sewer project. Initial construction is slated to begin next fall after power lines along First Avenue South between Veterans Bridge and 29th Street are buried.
Money to pay for the contract will come from a 2010 bond issue, according to Jeff Nemmers, the city clerk and finance director. That bond issue, he said, is being paid off with revenue from the monthly storm water utility fee.
Councilman Robert ''Barney'' Patterson was absent from the otherwise unanimous vote to award the contract.
Also on Monday, the elected officials learned that the state Department of Natural Resources will not allow the city to plug a broken gate on the Hydroelectric Dam with the use of beams called stop logs.
''They're not in favor of the stop log-type solution because they believe having a gate permanently blocked limits our ability to do flood control,'' City Manager David Fierke said. ''They're not going to OK us just dropping a bunch of stop logs in front of a gate.''
Fierke said the dam was not designed for flood control.
Mayor Matt Bemrich said opening and closing the dam's gates only effects the water level 1,000 to 2,000 feet upstream.
For several weeks this fall, city officials had been exploring the possibility of stopping water from pouring through a broken gate on the dam by placing stop logs behind that gate.
In other business, Councilman Kim Alstott reported that the volunteer group Pride In Community Appearance has received a first-place national award from Keep America Beautiful. The group, whose members donate thousands of hours every year on landscaping projects throughout the city, will be honored Jan. 29 in Washington, D.C.
Other items approved by the council Monday included: