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City approves engineering work for flooded area

May 27, 2011

To try to aid flood-plagued homeowners in the Meadow Lane area, the New Berlin Common Council last night gave the go-ahead to a consultant to do the engineering needed to apply for a federal FEMA grant of nearly $1 million.

If obtained, the grant plus $125,000 from the city could go a long way in solving flooding problems for not only five families whose flooding is severe, but 35 more, staff said. The city will know about the grant late this year or early next year, said Nicolet Hewitt, division engineer-storm water.

If the city has to pay for the project itself, construction might not happen for five years, one official estimates. If the grant comes through, construction would likely happen next year, Hewitt said.

The project is phase 2 of a four-phase plan for the area. The city is working on finishing phase 1.

The $1.5 million phase 2 work has been slimmed down to a $1 million project. It involves installing a 5-foot-tall relief sewer for the south branch of Underwood Creek that would catch water overflowing the creek and route it around homes to empty into the creek farther downstream at 124th Street.

If the city fails to win the grant, the engineering will not be wasted as it will be needed when the city does the work on its own, Hewitt said.

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