SIOUX CENTER—The city of Sioux Center was awarded Monday a cost-share grant of $100,000 for use toward its planned 4-acre pond.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig kicked off Soil and Water Conservation Week by announcing Sioux Center’s project was one of 12 urban water quality projects that will receive funding from the state’s Water Quality Initiative. The program was established to assess and reduce nutrition in the state’s watersheds as part of an action plan for Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy established in 2013.
“These urban conservation projects are great examples of how state and local partners are collaborating to make a meaningful impact on water quality, and they provide valuable road maps that other communities can follow,” said Secretary Naig in a news release. “When we all work together, we can improve our local water sources and help our neighbors downstream.”
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship also will provide technical assistance to the communities and organizations implementing these urban water quality practices to manage stormwater as these practices help reduce precipitation runoff by capturing and soaking up water and sediment from impervious surfaces.
Sioux Center’s 4-acre pond will serve as the Meadow Creek development’s retention basin that will help filter approximately 144 acres of development.
“It’s a great opportunity to partner with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and to clean some water before it gets into our down streams” said Sioux Center’s assistant utilities manger Adam Fedders.
While the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is investing more than $1 million from the Water Quality Initiative fund to support these 12 urban water quality projects, Sioux Center’s grant covers about 10 percent of its total project cost.
The city is working with DGR Engineering based in Sioux City on the pond’s design that involves being able to retain 9-14 feet of water at all times once complete.
Due to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources working through regulation changes, Fedders plans to bid the project next fall or in the spring of 2022 instead of this spring as he’d originally hoped, but that could be for the better for the project.
“The project will look like a pond and function like a dam because it’s in a waterway and the DNR is tweaking some rules that could affect how the final project is designed,” Fedders said. “So we’re waiting to see how those shake out as it could mean a little less dirt work which is a benefit to the project.”
Grant recipients have until December 2022 to complete their projects.
“Overall this project really has the potential to be a cool feature not only for development but as a learning tool as well,” Fedders said, noting the city submitted letters of support for the project from the Sioux Center School District, Sioux Center Christian School and Dordt University.
To receive state funding, each of the urban water quality projects had to include outreach and education components and local partners to support the project.
“Each of the schools were excited about how their science classes could utilize it as teaching tool,” Fedders said.
Receiving this grant has been about five years in the making.
The other 11 urban conservation projects included water quality practices like bioretention cells, bioswales, native plantings, permeable pavers, rain gardens, soil quality restoration and wetlands.
Communities receiving the grants are: $75,000 to Belmond; $100,000 to Clive, $125,000 to Elkhart, $53,365 to Fairfield, $100,000 to Marion, $100,000 to Osceola, $50,000 to Polk City, $40,000 to Schleswig, $100,000 to Sioux City, $100,000 to West Des Moines and $77,000 to Wilton.