SD Flood Control Plan Hit With Budget Woes

Sat December 03, 2005 - Midwest Edition

SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) The second phase of a project aimed at raising flood levees along the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls has been hit by budget problems in Washington, officials said.

Eight million dollars was requested — and Congress approved $1.5 million, said Mike Barnes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“There is just a lot of demand on Congress at the moment because of the natural disasters we’ve had, because of the War in Iraq,” Barnes said.

City officials said they’ll need to break it into smaller projects to adjust to the funding level.

The bidding process will begin after the first of the year, officials said. Construction still should begin in the spring, but the completion date is unknown.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, said President Bush didn’t want to spend any money for the project.

“The flooding in the Gulf shows us all that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to flood control projects,” Johnson said.

Sen. John Thune, R-SD, said he would have liked to get more money but that the $1.5 million will get things under way.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-SD, said she’s looking forward to working with the senators to secure more funding in the future.