City officials are working with the owners of Dickey Bub Farm and Home on a way to protect the business from future flooding.
The business was heavily damaged in a December 2015 flood and again was flooded in May 2017, though damage wasn’t as great last year.
“It was a significant loss to us and (store owner) Steve (Dickey) when he shut down for a month (after the flood in 2015),” City Administrator Russell Rost told the personnel, finance and public works committee Monday night, noting that without the store selling items, no sales taxes were collected.
“If we could find a feasible solution, it’s worth looking into to try and make it work,” he added.
Joe Feldmann with Coch-ran, an engineering firm working with the city, and Dickey Bub owners on a solution, presented a conceptual site plan with a proposed berm to keep floodwaters at bay.
Last year, the owners were considering installing a fiber “bladder” that would be filled with water when flooding occurred and would keep the floodwater from entering the building. That device is called an aquadam.
Since then, a new direction is taking form.
Cochran studied the possibility of the aquadam, concrete floodwalls and projects that would combine more than one method.
“Long story short, we determined that a berm would be the most practical solution for protection,” Feldmann said.
Rost said there are still several unresolved issues concerning restrictions and easements, as well as funding, but that the business owners wanted to provide an update and seek the committee’s approval in moving forward.
“Both of the projects would have required (the city) to have some participation in allowing us access to the property,” Rost said.
In terms of funding, the feasibility of a self-taxing district in which taxes would be collected from the purchases at Dickey Bub to finance the project is being considered.
If the berm were constructed, the current soccer fields adjacent to the store would most likely become unusable for recreation.
Rost said that because the fields were donated for recreational use, the intention is to recreate the field elsewhere.
The city is looking at a property trade or allowing the owners of Dickey Bub to purchase the land and using those funds to purchase new land for a recreational field.
“Because of the intent of the donation, we feel we should require something that will allow at least this amount of recreational opportunity at the minimum in an area that (isn’t as likely to flood),” Rost said.
Dickey said moving the soccer fields would better serve citizens. When there is a chance for flooding, goals and concession stand trailers have to be moved.
“But beyond that, it doesn’t have restroom facilities. It doesn’t have ample parking,” he said. “If we could find a better place it would work out better for everybody.”
Feldmann said the business is looking at elevation of 520 feet for the top of the berm.
The site plan lists historic flood elevations from 2015 at 522.89 feet; 1982 at 522.38 feet; and 2017 at 517.91 feet.
Rost said a floodgate is being explored for the Bourbeuse River access, which city officials intend to keep usable.
Other parts of the project are still being studied and Rost noted that no final decisions have yet been made.