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Levee Repairs Could Offset Flood Insurance Costs

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“So what the community will end up having to do is obtain short-term financing with a local financial institution that would provide the full amount to pay back the county,” Jones said. “Then, the association would request money again next year.”

In 2015, levee tax assessments to West Terre Haute property owners would be set to generate $50,000.

The association would then seek $150,000 from the county. The process would continue for four years, Jones said. “It would be paid down $50,000 each time,” he said of the gradual plan meant to spread out the financial impact.

In addition to seeking the intergovernmental loan, the levee association is also in negotiation with a local bank to provide a loan on the full $200,000. “It all depends on the interest rate. We either use a bank for a direct loan or for a short-term loan to pay the county back. We are still working on all this,” Jones said.

Work on the levee must be done this month, Jones said, before heavy spring rains. He believes the repair work can be accomplished in a month. In addition, the levee association must show FEMA this year that it is making progress toward certification, he said.

West Central Indiana Economic Development District has been involved in the project from the start, with Jones working to secure a grant to pay for a levee study.

In 2011, Kentucky-based Cole Engineering Solutions was hired as part of a $462,890 grant. The levee association and the town of West Terre Haute paid an additional $22,500.

Since then, numerous soil borings and sound wave studies conducted on the levee identified two areas in need of repair.

The first repair is to raise about 300 feet of the levee one additional foot in height. Under federal requirements, a levee must be built 3 feet higher than a 100-year flood event. In this case, the 300-foot section is lower than the required 475 feet height to be above that 100-year event elevation.

The section runs from the edge of U.S. 40, near Sugar Creek Scrap, west toward Sugar Creek.

Another section, which runs along McIlroy Street north and south on the southeast side of West Terre Haute, is an area near a water flood gate. The area allows water to pool at the base of the levee.

“The U.S. Corps (of Engineers) feels this area is a bit more susceptible, with a potential for sand boils, which is the first sign a levee is not working as water is coming through, instead of around the levee,” Jones said.

This area will require the adding of clay fill, so there’s more weight against the base of the levee, to keep water from seeping up through its base. Drainage pipes also need to be installed, to move water more easily and back into the river, Jones said.

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Posted by FanningCommunications on May 1st, 2014 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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