Dobbins 1

Cody Fox, Cedar River Watershed District project manager, surveys berm work at erosion and flood mitigation project Dobbins 1 as it nears completion in September.

AUSTIN — Four projects slated for the Cedar River Watershed District should help reduce flooding and treat storm water on 1,200 acres of farmland along Dobbins Creek.

The projects, which will receive nearly $2 million in funding, all located southeast of Brownsdale, will consist of earthen berms in Dexter and Red Rock townships, north of Interstate 90. The berms will capture then slowly release large amounts of stormwater, allowing much of the rainwater’s sediment — often containing excess nutrients, chemicals and bacteria — to settle out in each project’s basin, according to Tim Ruzek, an outreach coordinator for the watershed district.

Once released from the berms, the stormwater will flow into one of Dobbins Creek’s two branches before those branches converge at Austin’s Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and flow into East Side Lake and the Cedar River State Water Trail, the statement read.

The CRWD Board of Managers approved bids on three of the projects, totaling nearly $1.7 million, in Red Rock Township. Earlier this spring, the board approved a $364,000 project in Dexter Township.

“It’s exciting to be moving forward with more projects that will make a difference in our watershed,” project manager Cody Fox said. “None of this would be happening without the partnerships that we continue to make with landowners, farmers and township officials.”

To date, the Cedar River Watershed District has completed nine of 25 planned projects. The goal is to reduce flooding by 8 percent at the Cedar River-Dobbins Creek confluence in southeast Austin, according to the statement.

The projects are funded by a $3.2 million grant from The Hormel Foundation with nearly another $4 million thus far in funding from state grants and state bonding. Up to $1 million from a local project levy is available, if needed, according to the statement.

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Regional Reporter

Brian Todd is a 1997 graduate of Nebraska-Omaha. He covers Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona and Houston counties and writes a weekly column about the life of a reporter.

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