City council tables action on proposed drainage study

Members of the Vermillion City Council tabled a recommendation to undergo a drainage study budgeted at $70,000 at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

City Engineer Jose Dominguez told the council the city has experienced issues relating to drainage over the past couple of years in part due to such factors as topography, soil and hydrological conditions, and development and design standards.

The study would help to alleviate or eliminate these issues, he said.

"This is a first step toward making improvements," Dominguez said. "This study will essentially take the whole city and divide it up into drainage basins, and each basin will be studied some time into the future."

One of the major areas of focus will be land that is slated for future development, such as the area north of Main Street and west of Crawford Road, he said.

The study also will look at the city's existing drainage policy to make sure it's "not being too strict or too lax," Dominguez added.

According to a memo given to council members, after the major drainage basins of the city are determined, two drainage areas will be designed.

Following this, two capital improvement plans – one to complete the modeling of the remaining drainage basins, the other to construct drainage improvements within the two basins modeled – will be initiated.

An implementation strategy will then be used to locate funding for the improvements and "define triggers that will require the construction of a drainage improvement," the memo said.

Eight engineering consultants provided proposals that were reviewed by a committee which included the assistant city engineer, the assistant city manager and the wastewater superintendent.

"After reviewing the proposals, the committee recommended that S.E.H., Inc., from Sioux Falls be contracted to complete the drainage study," Dominguez said.

Approximately $70,000 has been budgeted for its completion, although it is estimated the tasks can be completed within $51,000, he added.

The council members tabled the recommendation until their next meeting.

In other meeting news, Jon Flanagin, chair of the Vermillion Public Library Board of Trustees, thanked the council for approving the bid for the library's upcoming expansion project at their last regular meeting.

Flanagin told council members they "should be proud" of their actions, saying the project overall has been "very much a joint effort" between the council, the library foundation and board, and the citizens of Vermillion.

"For all the citizens that use the library, this really made a difference," he said. "You should feel good about yourselves, because you contributed something to the city of Vermillion … that will really make a difference in your community.

"And for that, I want to thank you on behalf of everyone," he said.

The Vermillion City Council's next meeting is scheduled for March 5.

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