The North Bend Eagle



City navigating red tape to FEMA funds

Nathan Arneal
Published 6/26/19

North Bend is going to submit a list of $1.7 million worth of flood-repair projects to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in hopes of getting federal money to pay for the projects.

That is in addition to several projects that have already been completed, such as debris collection and removal, jetting the sewers, cleaning out ditches and storm sewers and reconstructing several gravel roads around town. City clerk Theresa Busse estimated that the final tally of all the repairs will be more than $3 million.

Julie Ogden of JEO Consulting, which serves as North Bend’s city engineer, went over a list of priority repairs that still need to be done at the June 18 city council meeting. Ogden created the list with mayor Dean Lux and council president Rod Scott.

There were five parts to the priority list:

1. Emergency repairs to the Platte River dike west of North Bend. Ogden did not provide a cost estimate for this project since she said it would likely be paid emergency repair money from FEMA. If not, the city would share the cost with Dodge County and the Natural Resources District.

2. Repairs to the sewer manholes and associated pavement patching. Sediment is entering the sewer through damaged manholes and overwhelming the system, Ogden said.

3. Street repairs, phase 1: Cottonwood Street south of the railroad to the Pioneer Lake gate. Highway 30 returns at Cottonwood and Pine streets. Tenth and Oak street, east return and storm sewer. Eighth Street just east of Mulberry.

4. Street repairs, phase 2: Locust Street replacement between 11th and 13th streets. Valley gutter repairs across the city. Remaining pavement patching.

5. Repair and resurface Walnut Street from Ninth to 14th streets.

Ogden said she didn’t know if FEMA would approve funds for all the projects, but the city’s plan is to initially ask for help with all the projects. If approved, FEMA pays for 75 percent of the project cost – and that money will likely come years down the road – with local bodies such as the city covering the rest.

Councilman Bart Bosco said the top priority should be getting Cottonwood Street repaired and back to two lanes on the way to Pioneer Lake. The gravel street was completely washed out by the flood and emergency repairs have it open for one lane of traffic.

Councilman Ken Streff added the current condition of Cottonwood may cause problems for any emergency vehicles that might need to reach the Pioneer Lake development.

Busse and Ogden met with FEMA representatives last Wednesday, the day after the council meeting, and it did not go as expected, Busse said.

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