FEMA funding some flooded road repairs

Jamestown has received FEMA approval and funding to get four of the streets badly damaged by flooding fixed before winter makes road work impossible.

Jamestown has received FEMA approval and funding to get four of the streets badly damaged by flooding fixed before winter makes road work impossible.

The City Council voted Monday to proceed with emergency roadway repair approved by FEMA. City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf said it constitutes about $600,000 worth of work, which has already been allocated through FEMA. With the funding available, work can begin soon on the four streets.

"These four were determined the most heavily damaged areas," he said. "I think we're going to be very fortunate to get these done before winter."

The four areas are Seventh Street Northwest and the Seventh Street Loop, where Schwartzkopf said about 1,000 feet of the roadway is completely destroyed. Eighth Avenue Northwest, which connects to Seventh Street, is also badly damaged in places, but probably won't get fixed this fall.

"There are probably 25 to 35 sites, from small areas to entire streets, FEMA inspectors need to make a determination on," he said. "We picked the ones in the absolute worst condition to make it through the winter."


Another area is 11th Street Northwest to 10th Street to First Avenue North near Nickeus Park. In places the road is gone, Schwartzkopf said.

In the oxbow area, 18th Street Southeast from the State Hospital Road west, including the intersection at Ninth Avenue, is also on the list for repair this fall. There's also an area of damage in the 400 block of Seventh Street Southwest.

"We'll hire a contractor this week and hope they can get the repair work done," Schwartzkopf said.

These four are not federal-aid funded, which means either FEMA or the city has to cover the cost, as is Eighth Avenue Northwest. As inspections continue, Eighth Avenue and other areas may be added to the list, Schwartzkopf said, but will probably have to wait until spring. Two other roads badly damaged by flooding are the road to the city baler and Fourth Avenue Northwest from Fifth Street to about 11th Street.

"These are the seven worst areas in town, where a lot of work is needed," he said.

With all the flooding issues throughout the state, Schwartzkopf said FEMA inspectors have a backlog so the process is slow. They'll be back in Jamestown later this week.

"So far, they've visited only six of the other 25-35 sites that need inspection," he said. "But FEMA and DOT (North Dakota Department of Transportation) are just inundated."

In other business, the City Council rehashed awarding the five-year contract of the soft drink vendor at the Civic Center. In committee, the council had voted 4-0 to award the contract to Coca-Cola. Councilwoman Kelani Parisien was not at the committee meeting. She said she felt the council should reconsider as Pepsi-Cola was offering a savings of more than $2,700.


"If by going to Pepsi, we can save money at the Civic Center, I'm in favor of it," she said.

The savings are theoretical and depend on a number of factors, City Administrator Jeff Fuchs said. It isn't an automatic savings. He added that in its proposal Pepsi did not include a required item, which was the maximum annual increase in product pricing. Pepsi also did not provide a list of name-brand products, current prices or cup sizes in its proposal.

"I did a review of the two proposals ... and Pepsi didn't meet the specifications," Fuchs said.

Pepsi representatives argued they had the strongest bid. They also had added the data missing from the original proposal.

Parisien's motion to award the contract to Pepsi died for lack of a second. Councilman Pat Nygaard's motion to award the contract to Coca-Cola also died. Councilman Charlie Kourajian wanted to hold off on a decision to consider the arguments and Councilman Ken Schulz suggested putting it in bid form with specific numbers and specifications. Civic Center Director Pam Fosse said there wasn't time for this as she is signing contract agreements for use of the Civic Center as far ahead as 2013.

Finally, Schulz, Nygaard and Kourajian voted to award the contract to Coca-Cola and Parisien voted against. Mayor Clarice Liechty was absent.

Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at

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