Five Ellicott City flood mitigation projects to begin in the next 18 months and an additional round of flood mitigation grants for residents and businesses
Today, County Executive Calvin Ball provided an update on his Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan and announced that five flood mitigation projects are scheduled to start construction within the next 18 months. These five projects, which are 100 percent funded, include the H7 pond, the Quaker Mill Pond, the Maryland Avenue Culverts, the 8600 Main Street Culverts, and the 8534 Main Street culvert/8552 Main Street Berm. Ball also announced an additional round of flood mitigation grants for businesses and property owners. Photos of the event can be found here. Video can be found here.
“I know the anxiety our neighbors in Ellicott City feel every time it rains. I feel it, too. That’s why my team and I have been working diligently since taking office to move the needle on progress in Ellicott City through my Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan,” said Ball. “If done correctly, the progress you cannot see every day leads to progress you can see. I am pleased to announce that within the next 18 months, five of our flood mitigation projects are scheduled to start construction. This fiscal year, we plan to spend nearly $19 million on flood mitigation alone, plus another $3.4 million on necessary building removals. Even in the face of the most complicated challenges, we will continue to support our town and work to make Ellicott City safe and sound for generations to come.”
Ball also highlighted other projects in Ellicott City that have been completed since the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan was announced in December 2018, including:
· Completion of one of the Safe and Sound projects, improvements to the storm drains on Rogers Avenue;
· Completion of the repair of the St. Luke’s Church Slope;
· Completion of the work on the Ellicott Mills Culvert;
· Installation of access gates on private property to allow for egress from Main Street in the event of severe weather;
· Near completion of the renovation of the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin;
· Ongoing work to stabilize the slope on New Cut Road. Weather permitting, plan for the road reopened by mid-October;
· Ongoing work to clean up, stabilize, and repair the 6 county-owned buildings on Main Street that are being preserved through the Safe and Sound plan, and;
· Soil borings for the North Tunnel, which are a critical part of the design process. Ball allocated $4 million this fiscal year to move from preliminary to final design of the North Tunnel.
“I am excited to see these projects move forward with the State resources we secured,” said Maryland State Senator, Katie Fry-Hester. “Over the coming months we will continue to work to leverage additional federal funding to support the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan.”
“We know Ellicott City is treasured by citizens around the state and I want to thank the General Assembly for approving state funds for the Safe and Sound Plan to help make these projects happen,” said Maryland State Delegate Courtney Watson.
Several of the Safe and Sound projects are currently under a federal Section 106 review, required as part of the County’s application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of the Environment. The Section 106 review is triggered when projects may impact areas of historical significance. No work can be started on the Safe and Sound projects under review until the process is complete, which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The County anticipates the review process to be complete by the beginning of next year.
The administration is also working to secure the additional funding needed to complete the flood mitigation projects and exploring innovative financing structures.
Flood Mitigation Projects
The schedule for these projects is contingent upon acquisition. The H7 and Quaker Mill Ponds will reduce peak flows in the Hudson Branch stream channel, reducing the likelihood of water overtopping the stream channel, particularly in the West End. The 8600 Main Street Culvert and 8534 Main Street Culvert/8552 Main Street Berm will help to ease existing constrictions in the stream and increase the capacity of the conveyance system. And the Maryland Avenue Culverts will ease constrictions and provide much needed capacity for water flow at the bottom of the channel in Historic Ellicott City, reducing the likelihood of deep water on Main Street.
Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants
The second round of flood mitigation assistance grants are available to property owners in specified areas and have now been expanded to business owners who rent or lease space. Eligible projects for business owners include those that increase the flood resilience of their business, merchandise, or equipment. The County will match 50 percent of costs up to $2,500 for business owners and up to $5,000 for property owners. The program now covers bridges and structural driveways that cross stream channels, as well as primary building structures. Applications are due on October 9th and will be awarded on November 2nd.
There will be two pre-submission meetings where you can get all your questions answered by the County. All of the information on the meetings and other details about the program are available on the Ellicott City Safe and Sounds website.