ALTON - Responding to misinformation shared on social media and in other public forums, Alton Mayor David Goins issued the following statement regarding the status of FEMA funding for the Riverview Drive project.

“In recent days, the city has received numerous calls and emails from concerned citizens stating that Alton has lost the FEMA funding for the Riverview Drive project. The purpose of this communication is to clarify these rumors and misinformation. The FEMA funding for this project is still in place and has not been pulled from the Alton Community,” said Mayor David Goins. “I have spoken to FEMA representatives, Justin Kleinschmidt of Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab, Inc., and Alton Public Works Director Mike Parsons, all of whom have ensured me that the funding remains in place and the project will be completed.”

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At the request of Goins, Justin Kleinschmidt of Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab, Inc., provided information and updates to address project delays with the Riverview Drive retaining wall.

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“During the winter of 2019 and 2020, emergency steps were taken to make the Riverview Drive site safe, with emergency repairs performed in collaboration with FEMA,” Kleinshmidt said. “At that time, it was decided that a slope stabilization contractor should prepare the design solution/repair to the wall and subsequently submit it to FEMA for approval. The thought was that the repairs could be designed and completed under the emergency procedures which allowed for the contractor to be selected based on qualifications and thus bypassing the federal procurement process, a decision the FEMA Project Coordinator also agreed with.”

“Since that time, the FEMA Project Coordinator has changed several times and the City is working with their 5th Project Coordinator for the project. The new Project Coordinator recently informed the city that the project can no longer proceed under the emergency procedures and must follow the federal procurement process, which requires the design team to prepare an independent design, not one that had been prepared by a contractor and considered proprietary,” Kleinshmidt added. “The independent design is currently being prepared by Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab, Inc in cooperation with FEMA. We anticipate that during the next several weeks, the design will be completed, the project will be advertised for bids, and federal procurement procedures will be followed, allowing work to proceed.”

Goins expressed disappointment at the delays, but stated he was confident that the City was now in agreement with FEMA on the next steps for successful completion of the project.

“As mayor, I am disappointed for our citizens at the delays in this project, but I want to reassure our citizens that the city is fully behind seeing the Riverview Drive retaining wall repairs through to completion and the successful repair and restoration of Riverview Drive,” Goins said.

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