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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2023
Scott Miller, P.E., Deputy Water Resources Commissioner
Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office
Ann Arbor, MI.: Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office (WCWRC) has awarded a total of $784,000 to aid in local stormwater improvements, flood control, and water quality projects. Through funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act allocation to the County, WCWRC has committed a total of 2 million dollars toward similar projects within the County. This is the first round of funding for the two-year grant program.
It was found in a 2021 Washtenaw Rescue Plan survey that investing in ‘Storm Water & Sewage Infrastructure’ was the second most supported project. This survey was developed to better understand community priorities for the Washtenaw Rescue Plan to address. Additionally, feedback from a 2022 Climate Action Plan survey found ‘Storms’ and ‘Flooding’ were frequently mentioned as a significant climate-related threat to survey participants or their community.
Water Resources Commissioner, Evan Pratt, stated “I want to thank the Board of Commissioners for taking action to fund projects that help our communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. This is going to help neighborhoods manage the extreme rainfall events that we have seen, and will contine to see in the future. [The board] has heard what the residents are saying and has invested in their future.”
Award recipients are:
Pratt further noted “The applicants are able to pick the issues that impact their residents the most. That is what is great about this program. We are looking forward to seeing the improvements in the communities, both for water quality and quality of living.”
The grant program encourages stormwater projects that provide multiple benefits to the community. For example the Feldkamp culvert replacement project in Saline Township will ensure emergency vehicles can access the community quickly and safely in addition to keeping stormwater freely moving. The current 10-ton weight limit on the culvert limits school buses and large emergency vehicles from crossing the bridge between Klager Rd and US-12. The project includes the replacement of a deteriorated local county road cross-road culvert which conveys a County drain. The replacement will prevent future, more restrictive weight limits and/or eventual closure due to continued deterioration of the existing culverts.
Pratt concluded “We were able to support a lot of projects this round, but we are not done yet. The next round of funding will be able to create even more resiliency and flood protection. These are great things when we look at future rainfall patterns.”
Applications for the next round of funding will be accepted beginning in November 2023. Local units of government can apply for future grants at washtenaw.org/3758/ARPA-Grant.
(Picture above- North bound load posting on Arkona Road. Photo by Great Lakes Engineering Group.)
Our Mission: We seek to inspire the residents and communities of Washtenaw County to protect surface water and the environment while maintaining necessary drainage. Within the authority granted to our office, we provide resources to reduce flooding, dispose of home toxics, and improve water quality.
Visit washtenaw.org/drains for more information.