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City finally approved for $1M grant

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By William Carroll

Early last week the city of Taylorsville received the word it had awaiting for several years regarding the city’s $1 million drainage proposal project for Houston Court, “approved”.
On May 5, Esther E. White, Project Grants Manager with the University of Kentucky Hazard Mitigation Grant Program sent word to Taylorsville City Clerk Steve Biven that the project had been approved for a total project cost of $1 million. According to the terms of the agreement, the city will receive $750,000 in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the state contributing an additional $250,000 for the project. The project will also run from April 30, 2014 until April 30, 2017.
Taylorsville Mayor Don Pay said the approval has been a long time coming.
“This all started back in 2008,” Pay said.
At that time Pay said that U.S. Congressman Ron Lewis had $750,000 available in earmarked funds for another project. Pay said that while the funds were needed for another project he made Lewis aware of drainage problems in the Taylorsville area. When the other project fell through, Lewis remembered the need in Taylorsville.
“Brett Guthrie took over from Lewis and gave us a call to see if we could use the money,” Pay said. “We had been having problems in Houston Court with severe flooding. Every time we would get a flash flood their yards would fill up with water and it is just continuing to get worse.”
Pay said that the city then also enlisted the help of the commonwealth of Kentucky.
“We were told to see if we could also get some funds from the state level,” Pay said. “We went to Frankfort and met with Emergency Management Services Director Nancy Price to see if the state would contribute funds.”
Pay said that state officials, after seeing the issue in Taylorsville approved $250,000 “on the spot.”
Pay said that was when the process began to slow down.
“We completed the application process to FEMA in order to get final approval,” Pay said. “At that point they asked us to go back and perform several studies.”
The studies included an engineering study regarding Indiana gray bats, Native American arrowheads and buffalo clover.
“We had to apply several different times and each time they would ask us to go back and perform a study on another issue,” Pay said.
Finally FEMA approved all of the previous studies.
“We dodged a really big bullet here,” Pay said. “It is such a big deal that we finally have this project approved and now we can move forward with the work.”
Pay said he hopes for work to proceed immediately although some preparatory work has already been completed.
“DLZ Engineering has already performed several studies for us, they are as ready as anyone to move forward with this project,” he said. “To be honest I would like to see the work completed within a year, I think it is doable.”