Senate Environment Committee considers several local flood mitigation bills authored by Sen. Rosen
They would help the communities of Madelia, South Bend Township, and Waterville protect against potential flooding disasters. Each of the bills has bipartisan support.
The bills were laid over and will be considered as part of a larger bill addressing environment issues later in session.
The city of Waterville has experienced historic rainfall over the last 7 years, which led to multiple flooding events and disaster declarations. The city has experienced continual problems of water backing up into the community and taking out agricultural lands, as well as disrupted hospitality, tourism, and resident livelihoods.
Waterville City Administrator Teresa Hill spoke in support of the bills.
- Senate File 3554 provides a grant to the city of Waterville to purchase and install a flood warning gauge on the Cannon River, which would be integrated with the state’s flood forecast warning system.
- Senate File 3555 provides Waterville with a grant to conduct a comprehensive flood study of the Cannon River dam system, including data collection, surveying, and modeling development.
South Bend Township
South Bend Township has several historic, protected wetlands that are at levels higher than they have ever been. The high water has put residents’ driveways underwater, impacted septic systems, and prevented the community from developing additional land.
Leroy McClelland, the South Bend Township Board Supervisor, testified in support of the bill.
- Senate File 3528 provides a grant to Blue Earth County to study flood control and storm water management options for South Bend Township.
In 6 of the past 10 years, Madelia has experienced flooding problems that have impacted the city, including problems with the electrical systems and damage to the wastewater facility, community buildings, and baseball and softball fields. The city is looking at options to protect their infrastructure moving forward.
Madelia City Administrator Christine Fischer and Madelia Community Foundation President Tom Osborn spoke in favor of the bills.
- Senate File 3531 provides a grant to the city of Madelia to develop floodplain improvements along the Watonwan River.