ALTON - The Alton City Council discussed a resolution for a permanent response to the issues of flooding - a five-foot tall, 1,000-foot wall from the Greater Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau Office on Piasa Street to William Street.
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Alderman Nate Keener told the council members that originally the plan was to suspend the rules and approve the wall proposition with the State of Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the City of Alton in an immediate fashion, but now the thought was to receive some public input and have it go directly through Alton Committee of the Whole. He explained that time is of the essence to approve the measure to receive the IEMA funding to match with city funds.
“We want to take advantage of federal funds to mitigate flood damage,” he said. “But we would like to see more public input and transparency around the project. I would like to just read it and refer it to the Committee of the Whole.”
Keener said there is still time to obtain the IEMA grant to go with city funding but it would need to be discussed on Nov. 7, 2022, at the Alton Committee of the Whole Meeting. Alton Public Works Director Greg Caffey likely will make a presentation about the flood wall and the grant at the Committee of the Whole meeting.
Keener said the total project has been estimated at $5.5 million and that includes the flood wall, plus some underground pumps, and also involves some work on Chessen Lane in Alton. He said a portion of the funding would come through the federal funds which run through the state emergency service office as sub-grants from the larger grant. Keener said he was also going to reserve an opinion until it goes through the Committee of the Whole.
Alton Mayor David Goins said he was excited about the possibility of a permanent flood wall being erected. He said he thought it would be a boost for Downtown Alton and would take less manpower and overtime to construct the temporary portions of the wall on streets. "I think it would be a very cost-effective measure," he added.