Waverly moves forward with dry run project despite opposition
Written by Shelley Russell, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WAVERLY (KWWL) -
On Wednesday state officials agreed to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars to communities across northeast Iowa.
The state funds will allow communities like Waverly to complete a $7.1 million project to mitigate flooding in the dry run.
"It will be able to handle a whole lot more water within the banks than it can right now," said City Administrator Phil Jones.
"The design that we're using for the construction project that'll go forward over the next couple of years, what it'll do is it'll be able to better hold a 100-year rain event within the banks instead of spilling out and flooding neighboring properties and streets," he said.
Jones said plans are to make the dry run, that weaves through much of downtown Waverly, deeper and wider.
"We just think it's a great step ahead for the city, especially the core historic part of the city to really improve conditions there and reduce people's worry about flooding concerns," said Jones.
While city officials are celebrating the state's $5.65 million toward the dry run project, not everyone in Waverly is on board.
"I don't know really if it's going to do that much good to be honest," said Fred Strotman, owner of Strotman Building Center.
For almost 100 years, Strotman's family business has sat about 100 feet from the banks of the dry run.
According to Strotman, the business experienced about $150,000 worth of damage in the 2008 flood.
"I don't think dumping money in it is really going to help that much," said Strotman, adding that he doesn't believe the city has a "track record" of spending money wisely.
"I'm just skeptical," said Strotman.
Jones said the city expects the dry run project to be completed in early 2017. He also said after the completion of the project, about 450 properties in Waverly will be out of the 100-year flood zone.
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