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Umpqua Post Environment STOCK
By Lou Sennick

REEDSPORT — City officials are one step farther along in the levee grant process.

With a unanimous vote at their Jan. 8 meeting, they authorized City Manager Jonathan Wright to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Infrastructure Finance Authority to help with levee certification. At the meeting, Wright said the last item left in the preliminary analysis mandated for certification according to Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, needs is the interior drainage analysis.

The analysis document examines storm drainage within the levee and shows inflow areas. In turn, these figures are used to calculate how "much accumulation could occur during the 100-year flood, allowing them to identify where high water could occur," according to meeting minutes. The analysis will cost about $43,000.

In August 2017, councilors approved a task order with Anderson Perry & Associates Inc. for the project. However as Wright pointed out, city staff have delayed on having Anderson personnel finish the work until city employees determined whether city staff qualify for another $50,000 IFA grant. IFA personnel "recently notified the city that we do qualify; therefore, staff is requesting council consent to apply for the funding."

City employees will use the difference between the total grant amount and the interior drainage estimated expense, which is roughly $7,000, to pay for the cost of early engineering on the weakened Umpqua River Bridge levee structure.

"This section is one of the lowest spots in the city's levee system and deemed by the Army Corps of Engineers are the most vulnerable to overtopping during a flood event," City Manager Wright continued. "This preliminary engineering will help the city start a dialogue with the Oregon Department of Transportation, resulting in future financial assistance for levee repair to this area."

The Umpqua Post Editor Shelby Case can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 296 or shelby.case@theworldlink.com.

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Umpqua Post Editor