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$32 million grant to help Grafton with flood risk reduction project

GRAFTON, N.D. -- A $32 million grant from the North Dakota State Water Commission will help pay for a multimillion-dollar project that leaders say will prevent flooding in Grafton.

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GRAFTON, N.D. -- A $32 million grant from the North Dakota State Water Commission will help pay for a multimillion-dollar project that leaders say will prevent flooding in Grafton.

The grant for the city’s $47 million flood risk reduction project is a major step in moving Grafton out of the 100-year flood plain, Grafton Mayor Chris West said Friday. After meeting with state officials in Bismarck, the city secured the grant along with a 1.5 percent interest loan for $3 million.

“It was a great day in Bismarck for us to come back with some money for our town,” he said.

The two sources of funds cover the lion’s share of the project, and the remaining $12 million will be covered by a half-percent sales tax voters approved last year. That doesn’t have a sunset clause, but it should last for about 30 years, West estimated.

The project will see dirt moved on a 3.2-mile diversion channel and back levee options, taking water from the Park River around Grafton. The back levee would be about 12 to 13 miles long and would feature about 4-foot-high earthen mounds to protect Grafton from overland flooding.

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Grafton has been working on a way to prevent flooding for decades, West said, with leaders reviewing multiple projects. The current plan has been in the works for about six years.

Grafton faces some form of flooding almost every year, whether it be from the Park River, overland flooding or runoff.

The move on the current plan should help provide drainage for farmers in the area as well as help residents with insurance, West said.

“It’ll be a great win for the community that way,” he said. “It’s just a good project overall.”

The city is waiting on several federal permits before it can bid out the project, which West hopes will happen this winter. Construction could begin as early as spring.

A final plan should be made available after the city receives final approval through obtaining federal permits.

Related Topics: GRAFTON
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