A half a million dollar levy improvement project is underway in a Cass County town. And that's good news for residents of Argusville, except for one family. They're being forced out of their home.
As moving day approaches for Marlin Niess, he can't help but take a walk down memory lane. "The fall of '88, I bought this home. It took me a couple of months to get a loan. I was a single parent at the time," says Niess. For 22 years, Marlin's lived in this Argusville home. He's raised a family and grown a garden. But come Friday, Marlin will be out of this home filled with memories for good. "It's kind of hard for me," says Niess.
Now the reason the Niess's have to move out is because of this right here. The levee is undergoing a reconstruction project. The city says they had no other choice but to buy them out. "The corps of engineers changed their certifications of what the levy is. We have to recertify and make improvements," says Gary Tandsater, Argusville Mayor. Improvements that include moving electric poles and trees near the dyke, filling in animal holes, and of course buying out the Niess's home so the levy can be fixed along the property.
"You never want to lose anyone. It's a small town you never want to get rid of anyone," says Tandsater. But Argusville's mayor says if these half of million dollar improvements don't get done it would cost the city even more. "Everybody would have to go on flood insurance," says Tandsater. For Marlin, he'll continue to pack away the memories in hopes to make new ones at his new home. "I believe god pushed me into this house and now he's pushing me out," says Niess.
The reconstruction on the levy has to be completed by December 12th. The Niess's home is set to be demolished on Monday.