MARSHALLTOWN Company, city talk storm sewer partnership

T-R PHOTOS BY JOE FISHER — John Christen, Director of Operations for MARSHALLTOWN Company, presents the company’s proposal for a partnership with the city to fix flooding issues on S. Eighth Avenue.

MARSHALLTOWN Company is seeking to combat flooding issues on S. Eighth Avenue during its expansion project, and it wants to work with the city to do so.

The city council unanimously approved a motion to work with the company on improving the storm sewer and other necessary infrastructure to solve the persistent flooding issues during Monday night’s meeting.

During a presentation, Director of Operations John Christen and Facilities Manager Joe Mathern shared images of vehicles nearly sloshing through the area during a heavy rain event. The company is in the second phase of an expansion project, adding another 60,000 square feet of factory space. During phase three of the project, the company plans to include several flooding solutions.

“Medium to large rain events are a large problem down on Eighth Avenue,” Mathern said. “We’ve resorted to sandbags (and) different types of barriers to try to prevent large flooding. Flooding in this area is not just a MARSHALLTOWN Company problem. It’s a Marshalltown community problem.”

The solution, based on a stormwater rate study and input from Clapsaddle Garber and Associates, comes with several steps. Woodruff Construction Regional President John Mallen explained the plans in more detail.

City Engineer Jay Koch recommends the council not approve a change order to grant Garling Construction additional pay for the airport hangar and terminal project which will be completed three months later than expected.

“They actually have within their own budget provided for capturing and conveying storm water,” Mallen said. “The Linn Street Culverts that go underneath the railroad; those are severely undersized.”

Mallen said those culverts will be expanded and increased in number to divert water. In the end, the capacity of water intake for those culverts will triple.

The next step is creating a detention pond off of Linn Street, which would fill up during heavy rain events then disperse the water elsewhere. New stormwater intakes would subsequently be added along S. Eighth Avenue, and finally, the Eighth Avenue curb would be replaced and raised.

The estimated cost for each of these parts of the project is about $1.5 million. Per the council’s approved motion, MARSHALLTOWN Company and the city would enter a development agreement that would provide the company with a 100 percent rebate in incremental taxes not to exceed $2.9 million.

To move forward with the agreement, the city will need to make changes to the Urban Renewal plan for Area 2, which would define the details of this project. The council will hold a public hearing on the matter during its next meeting on Nov. 22.

City Administrator Jessica Kinser said that the partnership would be beneficial to both parties because the city needs to address the stormwater issue.

“I think this is a great thing to pursue,” Kinser said.

In other business, the council agreed to extend the completion date on the hangar and terminal project at the Marshalltown Municipal Airport with Garling Construction until Jan. 28, 2022. However, the council, with the recommendation from the engineering department, unanimously voted against approving a change order to pay Garling Construction an additional $27,910.50 for the project.

“Based on the agreement that we have with Garling Construction for the airport, they have absolutely no way to gather additional costs unless there’s an actual change in the scope of the work,” City Engineer Jay Koch said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Bethany Wirin disputed Garling Construction’s argument from the last council meeting, when company leaders said that their scope of work included additional searching for materials.

“And if you breeze through CGA’s letter, they really weren’t very proactive on getting materials ordered,” Koch said.


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