A 30,000-acre drainage district is proposed in Fremont County Iowa to operate new pumps on the federal flood levee near Nebraska City

Fremont County officials are proposing merging two drainage districts near Percival and Nebraska City to pay for updated flood control structures.

The proposal would merge the West Benton and Mule Slough districts, which are scheduled for directors elections in January.

West Benton covers 5,000 acres, Mule Slough covers 12,000 acres and the new district would include an additional 13,000 acres from “areas that would derive a benefit.”

Craig Glasgow, clerk of Mule Slough, said the new district would include railroad and Iowa Department of Transportation property.

District officials are responsible for operation and maintenance of drainage ditches intended to carry rainwater to the Missouri River.

New pumps at the federal flood levee are also a local responsibility.
The pumps are intended to push drainage water past the levee and into the Missouri River even when the river level is to high for normal flows.

Glasgow said the drainage districts were originally formed as early as the 1920s before there was an Interstate highway or a flood levee.

“We've not changed since the '20s and we need to update,” said Cara Marker-Morgan of the Fremont County Board of Supervisors.