The city of Vincennes is moving forward with repairs to the Wabash River levee. It's all in an effort to keep its FEMA certification. One of the necessary projects to keep that Is getting rid of groundhogs in the area. It starts August 18 and traps are going to be put out in places the public will see them. But the city says not to worry.
The groundhogs have to go. That's what an army corps of engineer's evaluation found if the city of Vincennes wants to keep it's FEMA certification.
Joe Yochum, the mayor of Vincennes says, "We're just working towards making sure everything that was identified in that report, that we get it corrected and keep our certification in place."
Groundhogs can burrow through the levee, allowing water to come through. And with between 100 and 150 burrows found near the levee, the city is taking measures to make sure that does happen. They have hired an outside contractor to come in and take care of the problem.
"We have safe traps, so they are placed directly over the groundhog holes so other animals can't get in them," said Pinnell.
That means even though the public will be able to see the traps, dogs and cats will not get caught accidentally, as long as the traps are left alone.
"It is a misdemeanor under state law for them to disturb them, so we ask that they didn't do that," explained Pinnell
Along with the groundhogs, the city is continuing with other repairs to the levee. And while the groundhog eradication project should take about a month, there is no set timeline for the whole process yet.
"At the pace we're going it shouldn't take that long. Like I said we've been very proactive and the projects are moving everyday," said the mayor.
The city will be meeting with FEMA soon to prove that they are complying with the suggested repairs. The entire project to update the levee could cost anywhere from $6 million to $10 million.
So, how is this project being funded?
It's a combination of grants, utility fees and city money. The mayor says they've done a good job of bringing money back in, so it doesn't cost the tax payers too much.