HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of continuing efforts to improve Pennsylvania's infrastructure and safeguard communities, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that the commonwealth is investing nearly $1 million in 35 flood protection projects in 16 counties.
"Building and maintaining flood protection projects that protect lives and property requires a significant investment of time and money on the part of local governments and taxpayers," Governor Rendell said. "Pennsylvania's Flood Protection Grant Program provides needed funding to help keep these structures in good working order so that homeowners have peace of mind and businesses have the confidence to invest in their communities."
The 35 flood protection grants announced today total $995,768 for project improvements, specialized equipment and non-routine maintenance.
The grants are awarded annually to municipal and county sponsors of existing flood protection projects, and cover up to 65 percent of the costs for project improvements and non-routine maintenance, as well as a maximum of 50 percent of the cost for specialized equipment to maintain these projects in a state of readiness.
The maximum grant award for project improvements and non-routine maintenance is $65,000, and the maximum for specialized equipment grants is $50,000.
Local municipal and county sponsors are responsible for the long-term operation and routine maintenance of flood protection projects once construction of a federally funded or state-funded project is completed.
Grants are awarded based upon anticipated benefits of the project, such as extending the infrastructure's life, improving function, or improving emergency response.
Pennsylvania has one of the most extensive flood protection programs in the nation. Since 1946, the commonwealth has constructed more than 200 flood protection projects throughout the state at a cost of more than $800 million when calculated in today's dollars.
The Department of Environmental Protection oversees Pennsylvania's flood protection program and investigates flooding problems to determine the feasibility of various solutions ranging from upstream stormwater control to construction of significant flood control structures. Flood control projects can include stormwater detention facilities, concrete channels and floodwalls, earthen levees, stream channel improvements, or a combination of these projects.
The department conducts yearly inspections and provides technical assistance to local municipal sponsors. The commonwealth assists local municipalities with design work, cost sharing on federally built projects, new project construction, as well as with rehabilitation work and improvements to existing projects.
In addition to the Flood Protection Grants Program, DEP prepares and publishes technical manuals to operate flood control projects and conducts annual flood protection workshops for municipal flood control project sponsors. These workshops give local municipal officials the opportunity to learn about new maintenance methods, share experiences, and stay informed of new regulations and technological advances.
For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.
Tom Rathbun, DEP; 717-787-1323
Michael Smith, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
Editor's Note: The following is a list, by county, of flood protection grants announced today:
Allegheny County Department of Public Works -- $65,000 for removal of sediment from Turtle Creek flood control project
Chartiers Valley District Flood Control Authority – $11,250 to purchase combination sprayer/tank units, backpack sprayers, and hand sprayers for vegetation control
Millvale Borough -- $30,000 to purchase equipment for sediment removal
Millvale Borough -- $3,000 to purchase confined space equipment
Kittanning Borough -- $30,847 to replace 11 sections of floodwall, repair 18 sections of floodwall, and clear vegetation
Johnstown Redevelopment Authority -- $49,203 to purchase tractor equipped with boom and brush mower for project vegetation control
Johnstown Redevelopment Authority -- $9,750 for non-routine debris basin and trash rack maintenance projects
Johnstown Redevelopment Authority -- $9,008 to purchase confined space entry equipment
Wilmore Borough -- $7,475 to remove stream sediment and debris, and fill to large scour areas
Emporium Borough -- $54,484 to perform an updated survey; riprap upgrade; add three new entrance gates; re-seal cracks in the concrete channel; re-seed, fertilize and cover the mowed area; provide specialized training; and purchase equipment
Emporium Borough -- $50,000 to purchase dump truck for sediment removal
Smithfield Township -- $21,450 to install concrete low-flow stormwater channels at the Mt. Vernon stormwater pump station site
Brockway Borough -- $21,960 for Toby Creek bank stabilization and replace approximately 900 tons of riprap
Mayfield Borough – $39,000 to spray Japanese Knotweed, cut natural growth along the Mayfield levee system, and dredge areas of sediment build-up within the Lackawanna River
Olyphant Borough -- $65,000 to construct a pump station at Jackson Street
Olyphant Borough -- $65,000 to construct a pump station at Lafayette and Ash streets
City of Scranton -- $25,800 to purchase levee maintenance equipment, including a truck, brush mower, riding mower and skid-mounted sprayer
Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority -- $43,221 to purchase a bucket truck for electrical system maintenance and lights on the Wyoming Valley levee system
Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority -- $10,010 to purchase a slope mower
City of Wilkes-Barre -- $1,850 to purchase turf skid sprayer with 100-gallon tank for the Mill Creek flood protection project
South Williamsport Borough -- $40,362 to replace existing sluice gates
Bradford District Flood Control Authority -- $31,054 for Tunungawant Channel restoration and protection project
Danville Borough -- $65,000 for levee tree removal project
Danville Borough -- $3,874 to remove burrowing animals from the levee and fill holes with grout
Danville Borough -- $2,210 to replace suction hose and pipe in Faust Street Pumping Station
Danville Borough -- $1,755 to repair and re-seed ruts on the levee
Galeton Borough -- $16,584 to purchase commercial mower for levee maintenance
Potter County Commissioners -- $23,306 to purchase prefab shed, mower, trailer, plow and boat for maintenance and inspections of the North Fork Dam
Somerset Borough -- $32,500 to remove sediment, cut vegetation, and install riprap on Coxes Creek
Lawrence Borough -- $34,876 to purchase tractor and boom mower for levee maintenance
Texas Township – $2,180 to purchase two chain saws, two brush saws, and a skid sprayer for the White Mills flood protection project
City of Jeannette -- $65,000 to complete maintenance along concrete flood channel
City of Jeannette -- $30,591 to purchase water rescue equipment
City of Jeannette -- $27,223 to purchase generator for the emergency operations center
City of Jeannette -- $5,941 to spray and cut vegetation at the Bull Run Dam and the Brush Creek Levee
CONTACT: Tom Rathbun, DEP, +1-717-787-1323, or Michael Smith, Governor's Office, +1-717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor