Rockwell breaks ground on storm sewer project

After years of planning and setbacks, ground broke last week on Rockwell's long awaited storm sewer renovation project.

Once finished, the new 36-inch pipe will carry water from 3rd Street all the way to Beaver Creek, hopefully saving households in the area from the threat of flooded basements during major storm events.

"We're just delighted that it's progressing," said Mayor Michael Flatness. "To get to this point has been a lot of work by a lot of folks."

Mayor Flatness has been working to complete this project since taking office and has seen it through one setback after another since its early planning stages in 2017. Ideally the project would have been completed in 2019, however the shutdown of the federal government early in the year delayed the city from receiving a USDA grant that would have been used to finance it, throwing a wrench into the planning process. Instead, the city bonded $1,030,000 for the project, with the hopes that it would be largely completed by the end of November of 2019.

With their finances sorted out, the city moved ahead, only to be set back again in May of 2019 when bids came in at well over the $1.03 million budget. An unexpectedly high cost of rock extraction sent engineers back to the drawing board, scaling down the project with a smaller pipe to avoid the layer of rock and keep things under budget.

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