Council will talk flood plan

Published 5:14 pm Sunday, May 19, 2013

The city of Austin may still be on track to start the final efforts on flood mitigation for the Cedar River near North Main Street.

Mayor Tom Stiehm will sign documents for the Economic Development Administration at the Austin City Council meeting Monday, to complete a $5 million grant for the North Main Flood Project. The project was supposed to be done this year, but the city hit a snag after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found soil contamination from the old Sinclair Gas Station site. The city struck a deal to buy the property from the Sinclair Oil Company earlier this year, in order to remain eligible for the $5 million grant.

Public Works Director Steven Lang said the city expects to start work this fall, as long as the EDA confirms the grant this summer. The project will take about 18 months and should wrap up in spring 2015 under the city’s current project timeline.

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The Austin City Council will also hear a report from City Administrator Jim Hurm on the search for a new fire chief during its work session Monday. Hurm said Friday the city wouldn’t create an interim fire chief position, but would allow the three fire commanders to run the department until a new chief is hired. City officials have yet to start the process to find a new chief.