Cooperstown, Valley City get $700,000 for flood projectsCooperstown and Valley City, N.D., will share more than $700,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for upgrades to infrastructure threatened by the rising Sheyenne River, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Tuesday.
By: By Kevin Bonham , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Cooperstown and Valley City, N.D., will share more than $700,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for upgrades to infrastructure threatened by the rising Sheyenne River, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Tuesday.
The river runs through Valley City, which has suffered record- and near-record floods twice the past five years, and passes just east of Cooperstown.
The governor set aside $250,000 for Cooperstown to relocate the city’s water supply wells. The project will ensure the city can keep a reliable source of drinking water and access the wells during flooding.
Valley City would get $513,447 to protect the city’s sanitary sewer and storm sewer from river bank erosion using a wall.
“These grants are essential for both Cooperstown and Valley City to provide long-term protection to their citizens in the face of increased flows in the Sheyenne River,” Dalrymple said in a news release. “Reliable drinking water and storm water are crucial to the infrastructure of our cities.”
The federal funds are part of discretionary or governor-directed money that can be used for infrastructure, according to Sandy McMerty, a spokesman with the state Commerce Department.
Cooperstown and Valley City are both downstream from Devils Lake, where the state operates an outlet and is building or planning two new outlets to the Sheyenne to relieve a 19-year-old flood that has resulted in about $1.5 billion in damage or infrastructure protection measures.
Devils Lake, which has risen by more than 30 feet since 1993, last year reached a record elevation of 1,454.4 feet above sea level, less than four feet from the level at which it would spill uncontrollably to the Sheyenne River.
Following a dry fall and winter, the lake currently is about one foot lower than last year’s record elevation.
While operating plans for the outlets call for holding back Devils Lake water during times of high water in the Sheyenne, the state is trying to minimize erosion and downstream damage from the Devils Lake releases.
Kevin Bonham is a reporter
at the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.