Edna Digs in on Ditch Repair
By John Meng, News Editor A welcome site for many residents, the City of Edna has begun work on cleaning ditches and clearing culverts to improve drainage in selected areas of the city. Approximately 21,000 feet of ditches were identified as the most in need of improvement and city crews have teamed up with Mercer Construction of Edna to effect repairs expeditiously.
The streets and lengths targeted for ditch and culvert repairs are North Kleas Street (1,600 ft); North East (1,400 ft); Chase Street (1,100 ft); Caroline Street (1,100 ft); Sample Street (650 ft); Live Oak Street (1,100 ft); Colorado Street (1,200 ft); Elm Street (1,500 ft); Carver Street (700 ft); Sayles Street (1,100 ft); Eura Marie (500 ft); Vale Street (650 ft); Sunny Lane (400 ft); Alba Street (800 ft); Dewberry Lane (1,600 ft); Gilbert Rd. (3,000 ft); and MLK Drive (2,600) ft.
Last month, the Edna City Council unanimously approved a motion to hire a Mercer Construction to clean ditches and improve drainage. Mercer was the only company to submit a bid for the work and the quoted price was $5.50 per foot.
According to Edna City Manager Gary Broz, the city had budgeted $100,000 for street improvements in 2019, however, coronavirus restrictions and demands on city personnel prevented the city from applying resources toward the street work. Therefore, city officials decided to redirect the street improvement funds be utilized to hire a private contractor clean specified ditches and complement the city’s efforts.
“There are a lot of ditches in the city that needs work,” said Broz. “Overall, this work will improve drainage minimize flooding in many areas of the city. This is a good start.”
The city is approximately $65,000 to $70,000 with Mercer Construction and the remaining funds are earmarked for for repairing and replacing culverts as needed.
Broz stated that the proposed 2020-2021 budget does not allow for funds for more ditch work. However, the city is rapidly moving forward with state and federal grant applications. He said that the application process is nearing completion for three Community Development Block Grants that could provide close to $1.5 million dollars for specific projects within the city, and there is a CDBG mitigation grant with which the city could apply for unspecified millions of dollars at a 10 percent match for improvements in water lines, sewer lines, ditches and other infrastructure items that could be affected by weather or natural disasters.
“I’d much rather pay 10 percent than 100 percent,” said Broz.
Application for the mitigation grant is due Oct. 15, 2020.