OAK HILL & CRAIGSVILLE, WV – Gov. Justice held a pair of ceremonies today to announce over $24.3 million in federal grant funding for several hazard mitigation projects to help protect communities across West Virginia from future disasters.
“These grant amounts are big numbers, so it’s a really good day for these communities,” Gov. Justice said. “We thank everyone who is putting in the licks to make this happen.”
The funds are being made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Program (CDBG-MIT). The program helps communities impacted by recent natural disasters carry out strategic and high-impact activities to mitigate disaster risks and reduce future losses.
The grants announced at the events in Oak Hill and Craigsville make up a portion of the total $65.8 million in CDBG-MIT funds for 18 projects that have been recommended by the West Virginia Development Office’s Community Advancement and Development Division, which manages the state’s allotment of CDBG funds, for Phase 1 of the state’s CDBG-MIT program.
Recommended applications include nine stormwater projects, two water treatment plant projects, two dam projects, one sanitary sewer line relocation project, and four planning projects. Over $40 million of the total recommended will fund projects that primarily serve low-to-moderate income individuals.
The grants announced at the events in Oak Hill and Craigsville include the following:
Representatives from the City of Hinton; one of the recommended grant recipients announced today
CITY OF OAK HILL-MINDEN (FAYETTE COUNTY)
Project: City of Oak Hill-Minden Flood Mitigation
CDBG-MIT Amount: $4,739,000
Description: The Oak Hill-Minden project proposes to restore 375 feet of Arbuckle Creek to its natural state and improve flooding conditions along the only road between Oak Hill and Minden. Currently, Arbuckle Creek is narrow and has high velocities of water during storm conditions. There are 3 bridges that will be increased in size to increase flow. An overflow detention pond will accommodate overflow in a controlled area. These mitigation measures will mitigate against flooding along Minden’s main access road and serve over 300 residents.
CITY OF HINTON (SUMMERS COUNTY)
Project: City of Hinton Flood Mitigation (Stormwater system)
CDBG-MIT Amount: $4,350,000
Description: This project will improve storm water service to 1,240 existing customers and make 57 acres resilient to flooding. The City of Hinton will install 3,600 linear feet of storm drain piping, 24 drop inlets, 800 feet of long box culverts, 600 feet of open channel grated drains, and 48 feet roof drain piping.
Representatives from the Craigsville PSD; one of the recommended grant recipients announced today
MARSHALL UNIVERSITY (CABELL COUNTY)
Project: Flood Control Barriers Assessment Project
CDBG-MIT Amount: $229,375
Description: This planning project will evaluate temporary flood control barriers and critical facilities for necessary short-term flood protection in Lincoln, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Webster, and Greenbrier counties. It will produce an assessment that analyzes the best temporary flood protection suited to specific communities for 40 critical facility sites. The produced data will be mapped, analyzed, and compiled for cities and counties to implement in flood mitigation projects.
MARSHALL UNIVERSITY (CABELL COUNTY)
Project: Culvert and Bridge Mapping Project
CDBG-MIT Amount: $163,000
Description: This project will identify flood prone culverts and low flow bridge structures, record the location and attributes of these sites, and develop a methodology to manage an inventory that allows users to view data in real time. The project will take place in Monroe and Summers counties. It’s long term goal is to develop a framework for identifying and recording bridges and culverts in need of resilience measures and its short term goal is to provide initial planning data for future selection and mitigation of flood prone culverts and bridges at critical locations. The initial locations of this project are in Monroe and Summers counties, but the scope of work includes outreach to other counties for similar implementation.
TOWN OF CRAIGSVILLE (NICHOLAS COUNTY)
Project: Craigsville PSD Water Plant Relocation
CDBG-MIT Amount: $3,174,000
Description: This project will construct a new water treatment plant in Craigsville outside of the floodplain. The current plant is located in the floodplain and has suffered repeated damages from past events. It serves the town’s 2,021 customers.
CITY OF SUMMERSVILLE (NICHOLAS COUNTY)
Project: City of Summersville Stormwater Project
CDBG-MIT Amount: $1,042,350
Description: This project will install a closed stormwater system and detention areas to help slow and reduce flooding along Kentucky Road in the City of Summersville, serving 121 customers. The project area currently experiences repeated flooding during heavy rain events. The mitigation impacts of this project would be noticeable after any significant rainfall event.
REGION 4 AND REGION 2 (MULTI-COUNTY)
Project: Crossing the Bridge to Safety Planning Project
CDBG-MIT Amount: $250,000
Description: This planning project will identify residential bridges at risk of flooding in Region 4; Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Pocahontas, Webster and Lincoln counties. The Study will determine what bridges may need to be replaced and record their location. The project will specifically study bridges and crossing structures that serve multifamily units. An analysis will assess the corrective action required to mitigate against flooding risks, detail environmental review requirements, identify pre construction permits, and create a final report for RPDC 2 and 4.
CITY OF SPENCER (ROANE COUNTY)
Project: Spencer Wastewater Line Mitigation Improvements
CDBG-MIT Amount: $3,880,000
Description: The project will relocate wastewater collection lines out of the floodplain and construct additional pumping and surge flow storage capacity at the treatment works in order to mitigate collection system overflows. These improvements will reduce the threat of flooding events to the wastewater treatment facility that serves 1,552 customers.
CITY OF SPENCER (ROANE COUNTY)
Project: City of Spencer Milltree #1 Dam Modifications
CDBG-MIT Amount: $535,000
Description: This project will mitigate a high risk dam in Spencer. Plans include modifying the dam so that the permanent pool elevation of the impoundment is lowered by 10 feet. This project will mitigate against the risk of dam failure during severe storm and flooding events. It will protect 850 residents and surrounding farm and residential areas downstream of the dam. Failure of the dam, according to the WVDEP, poses potential loss of life to residents downstream of the Milltree Dam.
CAMP CAESAR (WEBSTER COUNTY)
Project: Webster County Commission
CDBG-MIT Amount: $1,584,560
Description: This project will renovate infrastructure and a dam at Camp Caesar in Webster County. In times of emergency the camp is designated as an emergency shelter for a nearby nursing home, a space for the National Guard, and the 8,386 residents of Webster County. Renovations to the dam will include upgrading the dam, modifying the main and emergency spillways to bring it into compliance, improving streamflow, reinforcing stream banks, and infrastructure improvements to Camp Caesar to enable it to support citizens in an emergency situation. The dam is currently cited as a high risk dam by the WVDEP.
TOWN OF ADDISON (WEBSTER COUNTY)
Project: Town of Addison Storm Sewer System
CDBG-MIT Amount: $4,388,000
Description: This project will replace an existing and undersized storm sewer in the Town of Addison, directly serving Addison’s population of 806 people. The current system is undersized, aging, and in disrepair.
On top of the $24.3 million in CDBG-MIT grant funds announced at the Oak Hill and Craigsville events, another $41.5 million in CDBG-MIT funding will be announced at additional events later in the day, bringing the total value of the grants announced in Phase 1 to $65.8 million.
West Virginia was approved by HUD for a grand total of $106.4 million in CDBG-MIT funds for hazard mitigation projects, meaning the state can still award an additional $41.6 million for eligible projects.
HUD requires that every funded project meets the HUD definition of mitigation: activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship, by lessening the impact of future disasters. HUD requires that at least 50% of CDBG-MIT funds directly benefit low-to-moderate income individuals and that 50% of CDBG-MIT funds directly benefit the most impacted and distressed areas determined by HUD (Clay, Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas counties).