Flood Alleviation Project Moving Forward In South Meadow, Sidney

The South Meadow Village Storm Water Project is moving forward with the $1.7 million project chosen for review for a FEMA BRIC grant which would cover 75% of the cost. The next step, and part of the review, is a request for information which the Sidney City Council authorized the civil engineering firm of Morrison Maierle to respond to at their meeting March 4.

According to Sidney Public Works Director Jeff Hintz, “severe flooding has occurred two or three times in the past 13 years primarily on the east side of Sunflower Lane. With a drainage area of 1000 acres, a rapid snow melt or deluge of rain just won’t fit into a 12” pipe. Sand bagging by city crews and volunteers for three days straight at about eight Sunflower Lane residences has occurred on more than one occasion,” Hintz said. “We’ve had some close calls,” he stated.

There is a drainage ditch in that area but he said it’s impossible to keep it clean and by the time it reaches the bottom, it doesn’t work. It also drains into the irrigation canal, which government regulations no longer allow. The solution is a 54” pipe which will go along side the main canal, then under the canal on the southeast of South Meadow, into the drainage ditch and on to the Yellowstone River. As to the $1.7 million price tag, Hintz said the city will need to cover the remaining 25%, but there may be SRF loans to help offset some of the cost. “It’s hard to swallow, but it has to be done,” he stated.

The Council also approved a request from Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project Manager James Brower that the city pay the $1000 cost of an easement at the north end of Pheasant Run along 6th St. This would allow them to improve the existing drainage ditch, needed because all the water from the Meadows drains under the canal into their ditch and development has created drainage issues. Brower reasoned that their project, along with the other improvements made in the Meadows, would also help the city with their drainage problems.

The city started working with Morrison Maeerle six or seven years ago to develop a master plan to alleviate storm water issues. Six to eight projects were identified with the North and South Meadow areas deemed to be the most critical. The second is the Anderson subdivision along 22nd by the ROI group home, which has been threatened and needed to be sand bagged multiple times. The $350,000 needed to complete that project may come from American Rescue Plan Act with matching funds by the city. Next is 11th St. SW, followed by the railroad tracks on the south side of town.

Hintz said the city is looking into establishing an Enterprise Fund for storm water, much like the ones for water, sewer and garbage where excess money collected is put into those funds and can not be shared with any other department. The fund could be used to help with future projects.


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