AUDUBON — With help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Hungry Canyons, a dam east of Audubon, damaged by flooding earlier this year, can be repaired. The Audubon City Council approved moving forward with work on the dam project during their meeting on Monday night.
The estimated cost of the work is around $500,000 but the NRCS has offered to pay 75 percent of the cost out of federal dollars, and Hungry Canyons, a western Iowa alliance formed to research and implement solutions to stream channel erosion, may pay another 10 percent of the cost — they have funding available on a first come, first served basis. The remaining cost would be split between the city and county.
The dam, or weir, was built about 50 years ago, and is important because it is in place to hold back water to increase water levels of Audubon wells, and if it were to fail it could erode banks and widen streams, which could affect bridges along the way. While the dam isn’t expected to “tip” soon, getting it fixed could mean another 50 years of lifespan for it, and new procedures are available now to make it possible for fish to get around the dam.
The city and county will also share in the cost of engineering on the project — estimated at $43,000.