The path toward building the improvements to area levee systems has been more difficult and taken longer than we might have imagined, but our current schedule and cost estimate for the project keeps the achievement of our fundamental goals within reach – to meet FEMA flood protection standards by the year 2015 using only the money coming from the dedicated FPD sales tax.  We have completed our first small construction project, mainly maintenance work, and have six other projects with an estimated cost of almost $39 million currently under construction.

The Council is well-positioned to complete the project without additional borrowing, leaving the the Council with additional financial capacity for future maintenance and capital improvements.  This fortuitous conclusion results from several key factors, including continuous efforts to reduce construction costs through design, good competition in the bidding process, and stretching out the project schedule to delay expenditures.  However the latter factor was not by design and, while helpful from a financial standpoint, leaves little “float” in the schedule to account for weather and other delays in construction.  Our current schedule indicates that completion of the project in 2015 is doable but with little or no room for schedule slippage.  Issues such as easement obtainment and Corps of Engineers review process are time consuming and challenging.