ALTON – An intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois Emergency Management Association (IEMA) passed unanimously at Alton City Council on Wednesday night to move forward with various flood mitigation improvements. The project's estimated cost is $5.4 million, which includes a local match of $2.9 million with funds in the Riverfront TIF District. The improvements will include a new flood wall.
Local stakeholders – Doug Bader, chair of the Alton Historical Commission, Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, Terry Sharp, president of the Alton Landmarks Association, and Jennifer Doody, community engagement and development for Alton Forward – all appeared at the Monday night Alton Committee of the Whole meeting so the council received their input. McGibany and Sharp expressed a desire to be consultants on the project.
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The wall has been described as a five-foot tall, 1,000-foot wall from the Greater Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau Office on Piasa Street to William Street. The proposed project also includes not only the flood wall, plus some underground pumps and some work on Chessen Lane in Alton.
Alton Mayor David Goins said Thursday there are several steps in regard to the flood protection project that would take a long time to come to fruition. He said now the building wall design phase could begin and also the awaited flood plain analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He also said there will continue to be stakeholder input for the project.
“This kind of high-scale project just takes time,” he said. “We are not going to start building in 30 days, you can’t even do the design phase study in 30 days.”