On February 17th Howard County Executive Calvin Ball provided a video update on the Ellicott City Safe & Sound plan progress. County Executive Ball detailed many flood mitigation projects, property acquisition, permitting, and design work that has been completed or progressed significantly since the plan was adopted nearly two years ago.
“I am encouraged by the progress we have made, and I know there is still much more work to do on our flood mitigation projects as well as continuing support for our town holistically to ensure its continued success,” said Ball. “We’re grateful for the continued engagement and collaboration from our residents as we work through the Ellicott City Safe & Sound plan. This year has been especially trying on our businesses in Ellicott City, and we will continue to provide support to ensure our town will thrive for years to come. We also have some exciting, impactful projects on the horizon for Ellicott City – including reuse of the historic current courthouse complex. Our hope is that this project will not only bring in new businesses but will also support the economic vitality of the town.”
Ball also provided updates on projects that are in progress, including:
The H7 dry flood mitigation pond was at only 65 percent design in December 2018. Over the last two years, the County finished the design process, and completed the permitting processes at the state and local level. A few weeks ago, this project was put out to bid, meaning construction will break ground in just a few short months. H7 pond project is fully funded.
Quaker Mill Pond
The Quaker Mill dry flood mitigation pond, at only 35 percent design in December of 2018 with two acquisitions that still needed to be complete, is on track to receive all necessary permits. Construction is expected to begin this summer. Quaker Mill is also fully funded.
Maryland Avenue Culvert
The Maryland Avenue Culvert project, which had barely started preliminary design in December 2018, is progressing through final design and is currently undergoing federal and local permitting processes. This project is also fully funded thanks to state legislators Senator Katie Fry Hester and Delegate Courtney Watson.
Additionally, over the past two years the County has completed the acquisition necessary to construct the H4 dry flood mitigation pond, advanced the design of the North Tunnel and acquired several properties in the West End needed for projects in that area.
County Executive Ball also highlighted that Howard County was selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to apply for WIFIA funding – a low-interest, long-term loan program through the federal government. This selection signals that WIFIA intends to provide Howard County with 49 percent of the cost of the Safe & Sound plan.
Ball announced the Ellicott City Safe & Sound Plan on December 28, 2018. The final plan selected in May 2019 will reduce flood waters on Main Street to less than a foot in a 100-year storm and approximately three feet in a storm the scale of the July 2016 flood.