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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 06, 2009, 10:05 PM

Barnes County hopes to collect clay from dikes

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - Valley City leaders are talking dike removal with water levels there going below flood stage over the weekend. The city is now taking bids from local contractors, but they're not the only ones hoping to collect the city's clay. As Valley City looks for ways to get rid of some of its clay, Barnes County townships are trying to get some, to repair damaged roads. It’s an expensive project which farmers especially need done quickly.

By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - Valley City leaders are talking dike removal with water levels there going below flood stage over the weekend.

The city is now taking bids from local contractors, but they're not the only ones hoping to collect the city's clay.

As Valley City looks for ways to get rid of some of its clay, Barnes County townships are trying to get some, to repair damaged roads. It’s an expensive project which farmers especially need done quickly.

John Froelich/Barnes County Commissioner: ”If you're a farmer, you want to get everything seeded as quick as you can, so it's very important that they have that access.”

Cash strapped townships already hurting financially because of record snow removal costs are looking for the cheapest way to make repairs.

The main material to fix a road like this is clay, but that doesn't mean valley city can just hand it over.

“It’d be nice; we have a lot of clay.”

The Valley City Administrator says the city must follow strict guidelines established by FEMA in order to qualify for reimbursement for the estimated 1 million dollar removal project. For example, it must make sure the clay isn't placed anywhere considered historical.

Jon Cameron/Valley City Administrator: “We have to identify where they clay's gonna go, so what I had to do was find out if we can give it townships and be off the hook.”

FEMA reps told him the responsibility could be passed to any township takers. Meaning the potentially free clay could be a nice option.

“It’s all going to be a mileage thing, how far you have to go. The closer you can get it the better, so if they can get it close, that's where they're going to want to do it.”

A possible win-win after a long fought flood battle.

The city wants to keep some of that clay; in fact the mayor says some dikes should stay in place.

Mayor Mary Lee Nielsen says dikes along the river behind homes may need to be repaired and cut down to be shorter, but she says they should stay to help protect against future floods until the city can get something permanent in place.

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