HARTINGTON — Cedar County Commissioners have received a unique offer from the City of Randolph.
The offer involves an agreement for sharing some resources between the two entities.
Randolph is in the process of moving ahead with a Flood Risk Management Project that would remove a large portion of the city from the FloodPlain.
Randolph Economic Development Coordinator Gary Van Meter and Ken Berney, Assistant General Manager for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District talked to board members about the waterway that comes into Randolph along with a project that involves the replacement of a bridge located on the Cedar/Pierce County line west of Randolph and five of the bridges within the city limits of Randolph.
Water from a 28.9 square mile area that includes Cedar and Pierce counties, along with a small area in Wayne County, drains into an approximate one square mile area in Randolph, according to Van Meter. A presentation by Van Meter showed photos of the waterway and the bridge located west of the city on the county line.
A project is being put in place to widen approximately one and one-fourth mile of the Middle Logan Creek channel and modifying six bridges to reduce the risk of property damages and the loss of lives from floods in the City of Randolph. At the completion of the project a large portion of the city can be removed from the FloodPlain. Requirements and regulations due to being located in the FloodPlain have restricted growth for the city according to Van Meter.
“There has been no land to develop and there are few homes to purchase in Randolph. If the flood plain can be removed we can take a 21 acre piece of property and develop a housing subdivision,” Van Meter said. “In the past the city has also lost some of the businesses that would have located in Randolph.”
Van Meter talked to board members about the State’s Innovation Bridge Match program that provides funds to help with bridge projects. Applications for the grant funds can include a project that involves more than one bridge and one taxing entity.
“The grant is good until 2023,” Van Meter said. “An application could be submitted for a bridge bundle project that includes Cedar County and the City of Randolph.”
Fifty bridges in Cedar County are potentially eligible for the match program.
Van Meter offered to assist the county in making the applications for grant funds on bridges in Cedar County in return for the county’s assistance with the bridge projects for Randolph.
The City of Randolph would also be willing to give the county the tops of any of the bridges that will be replaced in Randolph.
“We would like to partner with the county on some of the bridges. I would offer my services for writing the grant applications for their participation in helping Randolph with their project,” Van Meter said. “The county could also have pieces or the tops of bridges that are removed in Randolph to use where ever it would help the county.”
The estimated cost for replacing the bridge on the Cedar/Pierce County line is just over $686,000. Five bridges in Randolph are included in the project although one is a footbridge. Total cost of the bridges is just under $4,165,000; the city’s share would be 35 percent or $1,457,500.
“We will take a closer look to see if this number of bridges is really needed for the project,” Van Meter said.
Federal funds will pay for 65 percent of the Flood Risk Management Project. Thirty-five percent will have to be paid by the city or the city and counties.
The U.S. Corp. of Engineers will help with 65 percent of the cost for fixing the stream.