Council weighs next step on flood design plan at park

The Iola City Council will consider whether to approve a design plan to address flooding issues at Riverside Park. The council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the community building in the park.


Local News

July 5, 2024 - 2:02 PM

Jake Farrant, owner of Mammoth Sports Construction, speaks to Iola City Council members about Phase 1 of the flood mitigation project at the May 28 council meeting. Register file photo

At Monday’s meeting, Iola City Council members will consider moving on to Phase 2 of an agreement with Mammoth Sports Construction to address flooding issues in Riverside Park. The cost of this phase is $30,000. USD 257 has agreed to pay half this amount if the council chooses to move forward.

On June 24, the council and USD 257 board held a joint meeting to hear a presentation by Mammoth on the scope of the proposed $3.733 million project. The presentation was the final step in Phase 1 of the project, which included the engineering services to analyze and provide possible solutions for flooding issues in the park. This first phase was provided at no cost.

It was noted in the presentation that the project will include an artificial turf softball, baseball, and football field for the school district that will help store flood waters during a major storm event. 

Engineers with Mammoth explained the fields would also operate as water detention areas from which water would be redirected north of the football field and west to a detention pond in a picnic area. From these locations, the water would then be pumped beyond the park’s levee to the north and west.

If the city chooses to move forward, they will need to fund the remaining $15,000 of the Phase 2 cost. Council members are expected to discuss funding options at Monday evening’s meeting, including a potential Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant. This phase of the project will include design and pre-construction services with Mammoth developing base construction and permit documents.

ALSO on the council’s agenda is the request for a sidewalk installation. Tristan and Shayla Robinson would like the city to install a sidewalk in front of their house at 524 N. Cottonwood St., at no cost to them. In her request to the city, Shayla states students from the high school and elementary school bike and walk through their yard. 

In a letter to the city on Aug. 22, 2023, USD 257 Superintendent Stacey Fager had stressed the need for a sidewalk south of the Lincoln and Cottonwood intersection to ensure student safety. “I have personally witnessed countless students utilizing Cottonwood Street in absence of a sidewalk in this area, especially in adverse weather conditions, putting both their safety and the safety of vehicle operators at risk,” stated Fager.

Monday’s meeting will be the first of budget presentations by various department heads. Each department head will give a brief overview for the council and answer questions pertaining to their requested 2025 budgets. The remaining departments will present their budgets at the July 22 meeting.

The council also hopes to fill the Ward 4 council seat vacancy Monday. Two candidates will introduce themselves to the council for consideration — Benedikt Middleton and Diana Dashnaw. Mark Peters had formerly held the seat until his resignation on April 22.

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