Thursday, September 07, 2000

Cost grows for flood plan along Duck Creek

Estimates now at $34M from original $14M in '88

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFAX — The price tag on the massive flood-protection plan along Duck Creek has more than doubled while municipalities squabble with landowners over right of way to get to the creek.

        The cost to alleviate flooding is now $34 million, said Linda Murphy, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

        That's a big jump from the original estimate of $14 million when the corps completed a feasibility study in 1988.

        The corps wants to build a series of flood walls, pump stations and levees to tame flooding, which has damaged businesses along he creek's banks.

        Other engineering designs and inflation escalated the cost to $17 million by 1996 when the corps received authorization to start construction along the creek, which stretches from Kennedy Heights south for about 3.8 miles, emptying into the Little Miami River.

        During heavy rains, flash floods cause about $2 million in damage to about two dozen businesses in Fairfax, corps officials estimate.

        Ms. Murphy said the corps must “update plans and specifications and figure in the increased material and labor costs. We are looking at $34 or $35 million now.”

        Delays were caused when the village of Fairfax had to negotiate with the J.K. Meurer Co. to cross vacant land to get to an abandoned bridge on the creek, which took several years to settle.

        The city of Cincinnati went through lengthy negotiations with Charles and James Garner to get easement rights to an acre of vacant land north of the creek.

        The federal government will adhere to an earlier agreement and cover 75 percent of the costs with 25 percent from local sponsoring municipalities. That formula has since been changed for new projects, with the feds and local municipalities splitting costs 50-50.

        But with the total project costs increasing, local governments face much larger bills for matching funds.

        Under the original figure, Cincinnati would have spent $3.2 million for acquiring land and relocating businesses, surveys and appraisals. Fairfax expected to spend $928,000 as its local share.

        “What we have to figure out now is what the shared cost will be for the increased cost,” said Jennifer Kaminer, Fairfax administrator. “We are not sure if we can afford it now.”

        She said the delays are frustrating because Duck Creek is still a potential danger during heavy rainfalls.

        “We have been lucky,” Mrs. Kaminer said.


Hundreds pay respects to slain officer
Visitation held for 12-year-old
Funeral details
Grieving for a policeman
Girl has no right to sue
Two school districts awarded Gates grants
City filling deadly pool
Girl's lawyer blasts police
PULFER: A disabled child
New Fenwick High planners get go-ahead to raise money
Report critical of port authority
KNIP'S VIEW: National spotlight focuses on Cincinnati
Daughter stands in for Gore
Economists deride Gore's plan for 'rainy day' fund
Ag society fair game in lawsuit over prize pig
Boone backs off ban on underground mining
Burglary suspect caught within hours
- Cost grows for flood plan along Duck Creek
County group has new leader
Couple faces gun charges
Dad's statement in baby's death allowed
Engineer staff complains to county
Father loses bid to squelch statement
Halls overflow with potential pets
Hamilton County GOP endorses city school levy
High court asked for new Justin ruling
Ind. town awash in arts, crafts, fun events
'Inherit the Wind' debate fresh again
Key Foundation celebration to be benefit, too, as usual
Lunken charter jet firm backs off threat to leave
Mules and Model A cars join Harvest Home Fair
N. Ky. boosters raise money
New Middletown sirens wail on cue
Runway study won't be ready this year
Second Street delayed again
Taft challenges community to help students learn to read
Turfway effort boosts betting
Vandals get probation, must pay $80K for damage
Village contracts garbage pickups
Get to it
Kentucky News Briefs
Pig Parade/Sheakin' Bacon
Tristate A.M. Report