Keokuk mayor urges lawmakers to fix silting problem in Mississippi River
By Andy Devine, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Silt is building up in the Mississippi River near Keokuk and city officials say it will have a long-term impact on Lee County.
That's why Keokuk's mayor is pushing federal lawmakers to act. Mayor Tom Marion just returned from Southeast Iowa Days in Washington D.C. where he discussed the issue with lawmakers who represent the county.
Marion urged lawmakers to push for funding to help solve the silting problems in the Mississippi River.
He says a solution would help transport goods smoothly through the country and save everyone a headache when it floods.
"The river has too much dirt and mud in it so it goes up over and floods the land," Marion said.
Marion says it's not only a local problem. The silting in Southeast Iowa has a huge ripple effect on the transportation of goods throughout the country.
"If they don't get rid of some of the silt problems by dredging you're going to have one channel down the river," Marion said. He says having one channel would cause major shipping delays.
Marion says he's calling on lawmakers to get Southeast Iowa the money it needs to keep it's passageway through the Midwest in good condition.
"If the Corps Of Engineers isn't appropriated money to expand some of the lock system and expand our channel than we are going to have serious problems," Marion said.
Marion says it would most likely have to take a bill to appropriate the funding needed for dredging and right now there isn't a proposed bill like that.
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