Lamont wins $1 million grant for sewer upgrades - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lamont wins $1 million grant for sewer upgrades

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LAMONT (KWWL) -

Last week, Lamont city leaders found out FEMA is giving them $1 million to improve the city's sewer system. The money comes after two disaster declarations, hundreds of flooded basements and a lot of paperwork.

"What really killed us was the corn stalks. We had corn stalks come in southwest of town. I think we wound up with 170 loads of corn stalks we had to haul out." said Lamont mayor Alfred Hotchkiss.

In 2009, city officials began the process to repair the city's sewer system filing paperwork with FEMA. One year later, another disaster - another flood devastated the town of 500.

"Back up sewers were terrible. I think we wound up maybe with 10 people that didn't have water in their basement in 2010 because of the high water level in the town," said Hotchkiss.

Now, the city will start work - adding pumps and a lagoon on the edge of town. The city will borrow $200,000 to complete the grant.

"Getting money for a small town is pretty hard, too. There's only so much we can do with the money we've got and there's other things that have to be done, too," said Hotchkiss.

It could take up to 2 years to complete with city leaders hoping Lamont Creek doesn't flood a third time before then. City leaders say they were required to provide documentation to FEMA of rainfall in the city to get the grant. There's no gauge in the city but local farmer Danny Gaffney lives just outside Lamont and has kept records every day for 40 years. FEMA accepted his information and now the town is accepting FEMA's million bucks.

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