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Most of Grand Forks DMAF progress on track: city report

Construction of downtown improvements on track, additional financing being discussed

Grand Forks is on its way to completing its flood mitigation and improvements, according to its latest Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund report.

The report was released during the Aug. 14 Committees of the Whole meeting and outlines what goals have been accomplished and the progress of others.

The top priority for the city through DMAF is to implement measures to help protect against future flooding, the report stated.

That priority has four goals: Complete Downtown –WP1 and North Ruckle, begin Rockwool Dike, construction and complete design of the South Ruckle Dike, complete Legislated Restoration and Offsetting Project –WP7 and Seek out Opportunities to Offset DMAF Project Costs.

Costs for the improvements as of June 30 are $50,216,628. That includes $31,869,249 for Capital projects and $17,492,388 for property.

Much of the first goal is on track, according to the report. This includes completing the Riverside Stormwater Interceptor project with utility locations, traffic management planning and other preparations underway.

The second component of that goal is to complete any cleanup work on private property and in City Park. This too is on track with property restoration work ongoing on both private and public property.

The third is finalize HAZMAT assessments and abatement. Assessments have been completed and abatement is underway for the entire area east of 2nd Street.

A demolition contract has been awarded for east of 2nd St. as part of the fourth component to secure a contractor for demolition. This will be completed at the end of August.

Finishing activities such as paving, topsoil, and hydroseeding of dikes are also underway. 5th Street and 2nd Street have been paved, topsoil has been placed on WP2 dike. The remaining work is on track for this fall.

Results the city wants to see from these goals that have yet to be completed include All North Ruckle houses removed and the remaining surface west of 2nd Street is shaped but not planted. Development of requests for proposals for demolition for remaining homes is underway.

Goal Two focuses on Rockwool’s flood mitigation. Permits have been submitted and discussions are ongoing with lawyers on its statutory right of ways framework to put an agreement in place.

Engineering procurement for the South Ruckle WP3 design is scheduled for later this month, with conceptual stormwater management design underway. Dike design is on track for completion by end of year. Applications for Federal and Provincial dike permits submitted and discussions are underway with all regulators.

To achieve their third goal, the city has submitted applications for restoring and offsetting with the federal and provincial governments.

Vegetation to plant in the offset areas has been procured with a contract awarded in April. Requests for proposals to secure qualified contractors for excavation and planting are underway.

Demolition and removal of all North Ruckle houses east of 2nd Street is on track for completion by the end of August.

Offset area infrastructure removal, channel excavation and habitat feature construction is on track for completion by end of the year.

Goal four focuses on looking into additional grant funding to support DMAF works. Some of this has been achieved with Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) funding of $1.4 million approved in April and Community Emergency Preparedness funding of $1.7 million awarded in July.

They are also looking into potential grant funding streams for ineligible project costs. Talks over what those costs are is ongoing with all funders.

Collaborative correspondence and meetings are taking place with federal and provincial representatives, with financial assistance discussions a priority. The most recent include meetings with Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness on July 11th.

However, the city wants to find grant opportunities that do not conflict with the original DMAF applications DFA and Community Emergency Preparedness funding approved for $1.4m and $1.7m. Advocacy at the Provincial and Federal level for further DMAF project financial support is underway and ongoing with both staff and elected officials

The entire report can be found on the City of Grand Forks website in the Aug. 14 Committees of the Whole meeting minutes under council minutes and agendas.

About the Author: Karen McKinley

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