Properties coming down in Keithsburg

Robert Blackford/Editor

Twenty-two properties are in the process of being torn down in Keithsburg as part of the latest FEMA buyout.

Kenny Tharp of Tharp Construction of Keithsburg is doing the demolition work. Tharp Construction has a deadline to have the the properties down by the end of April. That includes leveling the ground and seeding the topsoil.

One of the conditions of the buyout was that no buildings can be constructed on the property afterward.

"We are discussing different ideas for the property," said Terri Gibson, Keithsburg City Clerk. "Possibly a campground but nothing is definite."

It's been a long time coming for the City as this is a process that started in 2008 with the last flooding of Keithsburg. Among the properties coming down will be the Keithsburg Motel, the old laundromat on 3rd Street, the old Keithsburg Bank, an old pool hall and the former Henderson's Clothing Store building. Many of the buildings hadn't been used in years. The other 17 properties are residential.

"Keithsburg received money to do a buyout and the demolition was part of the buyout program," said Gibson.

Levee

The city recently received word that it will receive an additional $2,216,470 through the "IKE" office and DECO (Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) for levee improvements as well as $2,215,992.92 for storm pump improvements. In all, the City will receive $5,957,872.92 to pay for improvements and for the buyouts.

The IKE office has approved the funding for the base project which will reconstruct the Pope Creek levee from approximately 3rd Street to 16th Street. In addition they have approved additive #1 to construct the levee from 16th Street to high ground, reconstruct 16th Street over the levee, and install a gate closure at 4th Street.

They hope the final design is completed by September of 2015.

In the 1993 flood Keithsburg lost 88 properties to flooding.