Before flood season, Moorhead officials estimated that they’d spend $166,000 to fill the sandbags needed to protedct property from the rise of the Red River;, but the actual cost was $409,000, city officials now say.
That’s just a portion of the city’s $2.5 million flood bill, says the Fargo Forum.
About 300 private homes need to be protected with sandbag dikes when the river rises, and Mayor Mark Voxland would like the city to encourage those homeowners to do more to protect their own property. Maybe the city could sell bonds to pay for permanent dikes on those sites, with homeowners paying it back through assessments, he said.
A change this year was paying workers to fill the more than 1 million sandbags used in the effort. There were also thousands of volunteers who helped get the sandbags into place.
City residents are split on whether it was a good idea to pay for the sandbag filling, said Council Member Brenda Elmer.
“I certainly would not assume that’s the new standard. I think that issue is still open for next year.” But she said she hopes there’s no flooding or need for sandbags next year.