I am still playing catch up on items announced while I was out of town…I was happy to see phase 2 of EC Safe and Sound rolled out. Here is information from the press release (County Executive Ball Announces Phase 2 of Ellicott City Flood Plan):
(April 17th): ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced Phase 2 of his Ellicott City ‘Safe and Sound Plan’ during a press conference on Main Street. This phase will include public input on five, potential flood mitigation options, before a final decision is made in May. Each of the proposed plans would prioritize public safety and, based on the model runs, keep more water off Main Street than the previous 5-year plan. Video of the press conference can be found here, photos can be found here. Find more on Phase 2 of Safe and Sound here.
“Ellicott City has shown courage and resilience in response to two devastating floods. Our community is a symbol of strength, a center of commerce, and a jewel for our County, State, and Nation,” said Ball. “We need bold, innovative solutions that won’t be just a ‘band-aid’ for this town until the next storm, but a long term and sustainable plan that will reduce the amount of potential flood water in Ellicott City, making our town safer and respecting the taxpayer investment. Our plans will keep water off the street and keep people safe.”
State funds will also help the progress being made in Ellicott City. The county will receive $700,000 from the State Department of Housing and Community Development for stabilization, clean-up, and façade projects, which was just secured this week. We also received $3.5 million in cost savings through the State allowing Howard County to purchase the land for the new Waterloo Fire Station for only $1.
“The resilience of the people who call Ellicott City home has been truly inspiring, and this project is near and dear to my heart,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration is proud to support this important next step, and will continue to work with our local partners to ensure this vibrant community continues to recover and thrive.”
EC Safe and Sound Phase 2 includes:
1. 5 Flood Mitigation Plans will keep more water off the street in the event of a future flood. The County Executive will hear public input on the plans and choose a final option in May.
2. Building Acquisitions and Action will demolish some structures for safety, while renovating and restoring others. All of the flood mitigation options call for demolishing at least 4 of the buildings in order to complete a much-needed capital project to construct culverts under Maryland Avenue, while one option calls for the demolition of a total of 6 buildings. Any buildings that do remain will need to have some, partial demolition or modification to remove any portions that constrict the stream.
3. Public Access Points will be marked with official signage to help residents and visitors find high ground during an emergency.
4. Capital Projects Tracker is an online tool that will allow residents to follow the progress of every mitigation project and the status of building demolition.
5. The Ellicott City Master Plan was halted after the 2018 flood but will be re-started to ensure the long-term future of Ellicott City.
Ball announced Phase 1 of the plan in December. That phase featured four critical components: ensuring public safety, supporting business and property owners, keeping Ellicott City’s historic charm, and developing an inclusive, community-driven process.
A public meeting has been scheduled for May 2, 2019 in the Howard High School cafeteria, 8700 Old Annapolis Road in Ellicott City, at 7:00 PM to provide an opportunity for community input on the plan’s second phase. During this meeting Ball, along with representatives from county departments, will discuss the initiatives included in Phase 2 of the plan and will be ready to address public questions and concerns.
Here is the video of the press conference:
Here is an image of the buildings that are proposed to be removed:
Really hoping the The Phoenix Emporium will find a new home in Ellicott City at some location.
OK…so there are 5 options on the table for phase 2…do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments.