Montevideo seeks 3-million dollars from state for flood control project

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The city of Montevideo is asking for state help in its annual flood fight.

The city is asking the state of Minnesota to provide about $3 million in state bond funds to complete the work on upgrading the city's levee system.

The West Central Tribune reports that a federal appropriation of $7 million has been spent on the project and about a third of the project has yet to be completed. The city has been trying for 15 years to get the federal government to help finish the project, with no success.

So Thursday, Montevideo city manager Steve Jones told members of the House Capital Investment Committee that the city remains at risk for a major flood disaster.

The Associated Press reports that if the levee were to fail, floodwaters could cover about one-third of the community in as little as 20 minutes. The potential flooding could close U.S. Highways 212 and 59 and state highway 7. They also would potentially cover the Twin Cities & Western Railroad line in the city.

The newspaper reports that Jones said, “With phase three not completed, we still have a very weak link in the system and we could still lose everything, including the wastewater plant. So if we lost the plant, we lose the whole town.’’

It was one of the stops on a tour of proposed capital investment projects as Minnesota lawmakers get ready to work on a bonding bill during the 2014 legislative session.

There are more than $2.8 billion worth of requests, lawmakers will likely be looking at a bill of around $800 million during the next session.

Members of the committee returned Friday afternoon after touring central and southwestern Minnesota over the last three days making several stops including St. Cloud, Jackson, Marshall, Morris, and Montevideo.

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