Talk about it

    WILLMAR — Officials are planning to present a report on solutions to urban flooding problems caused by heavy rain events — and costs associated with those solutions — to the Willmar City Council in April.

    Public Works Director Holly Wilson says staff will recommend the council officially adopt the report from Barr Engineering of Minneapolis when Barr presents the report at the April 16 meeting.

    Wilson says Barr’s storm water management plan will be a large document and will recommend projects and costs associated with those projects. A few minor changes are being made to the report.

    “We’re getting a good, final document that can be adopted by the City Council and be used by the city as a working document for future projects,’’ says Wilson.

    The council in February 2010 ordered the $100,000 report, which was the primary work of the storm water task force. The council established the task force in August 2008 to address the city’s recurring flooding problems.

    Now that the Barr report is pending, the council will be discussing next steps for the task force.

    The topic was raised during the council’s Public Works/Safety Committee meeting Tuesday evening by City Administrator Charlene Stevens. She said the council will need to determine which aspects of the Barr report the city will work on and which to fund for the 2013 budget.

    Council member Bruce DeBlieck said the question was whether the council wanted to disband the task force. DeBlieck said the council should keep the task force and ask members to give recommendations to the council.

    Committee Chairman Doug Reese spoke in favor of keeping the task force for now until the council knows what the report says.

    Task force member Joe Ridler said projects will take “significant dollars.’’

    Stevens and Wilson said the Barr report will be presented in time for the council to consider project costs and select funding priorities for the 2013 budgeting process.

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