COUNCIL BLUFFS — Council Bluffs spent about $8.15 million through July 31 to deal with the high water levels of the Missouri River, according to figures to be presented to the City Council on Monday.
The cost is higher than originally hoped, City Finance Director Art Hill said. But he added: "It's something that people wanted us to do, and we'll continue to do."
Considering the city has prevented major damage for residents along the river and assured minimal flooding impact for the bulk of the community, Hill said, the costs are reasonable.
Added Mayor Tom Hanafan: "If we had a levee that broke, what would the cost be?"
The bulk of the money — about $7 million — was spent on contractors repairing infrastructure, engineers assessing the levees and providing supplies such as sand and sandbags, Hill said.
Approximately $896,186 of the total was for city employee costs, including overtime and compensatory time off.
"We had, through the end of July, 5,897 hours of overtime and comp time on this event," Hill said. "We had two months there where it was all hands on deck — there was a lot of work to do."
Unexpected infrastructure repairs added to the costs, Hill said. "I don't think anybody was expecting eight to 10 sanitary sewer collapses."
These and future costs will be sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for possible reimbursement up to 80 percent. The state could provide 10 percent reimbursement, with the city responsible for the rest, Hill said.
Hill added that he's tabulating costs through June to be sent as soon as possible to get the process moving.