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Army Corps tour of Rio De Flag project

Mayor Coral Evans, councilmember Charlie Odegaard, congressman Tom O’Halleran, Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite and Col. Aaron Barta, the commander of the Los Angeles District of the Army Corps pose during a tour of the planned Rio De Flag flood control project October 17, 2018.

Arizona’s two senators sent a letter in support of the city’s Rio de Flag flood control project to the chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, last week.

Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema sent Lt. General Todd Semonite a letter on Jan. 7 asking that the army corps to include funding for the flood control project in their fiscal year 2020 budget.

“Given the increase in FY2020 funding for Army Corps construction projects, we ask that you include funding in the FY20 work plan to complete the project and ensure that downtown Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University, BNSF Railroad, and the historic Southside community are permanently protected from a catastrophic flood,” the letter reads. “The federal government and the City of Flagstaff have already invested nearly $45 million in Rio de Flag and delaying the project would be a waste of precious taxpayer dollars.”

Semonite visited Flagstaff and toured the Rio de Flag in 2018, telling local officials he wanted to see shovels in the ground and the project underway.

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In October 2019, city council reiterated their own commitment to the project as final design documents neared completion.

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Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at askabelund@azdailysun.com, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.

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