Lincoln City Council puts stormwater bond issue on ballot

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - This May, Lincoln voters will have their say on a $9.9 million dollar stormwater bond issue.

Lincoln City Council voted unanimously to put the issue on the May 7 general election ballot during Monday night's council meeting.

The proposed bond would fund 10 different drainage needs throughout town, but nearly two-thirds of the money would be dedicated to the Dead Man's Run project between 33rd and 48th Streets along Leighton Street.

"This project is really interesting because it's divided between the federal government, the Lower Platte South NRD and the City of Lincoln -- with some help from the university as well," says Donna Garden, assistant director for Lincoln's Transportation and Utilities Department.

The federal government -- through the Army Corps of Engineers -- are committing $10 million to the project. Most of the city's investment will come from replacing bridges that span the channel on 33rd, 38th, and 48th streets.

Garden said "the City and the NRD are handling the bridge projects. Then the actual channel work will be handled by the Corps of Engineers."

Other projects included in this bond issue include channel stabilization at four different parks and along Little Salt Creek -- and a flood reduction project in the Forest Lake subdivision in southeast Lincoln.

In all -- more than 400 structures will be removed from the flood plain -- meaning the $6 per year cost of this bond issue for an average household will save money for people currently paying for flood insurance.

The bond issue would run for 20 years and is estimated to cost the average property taxpayer about $6 per year.

"If you are paying for flood insurance, you're not paying $6 per year -- you're paying between $450 and $2,500 per year," Garden noted.

Garden said this project will also strengthen Lincoln's standing with flood insurance companies -- who already consider the Capital City a good steward with regard to mitigating flood issues.