The City of Monroe was awarded $3.1 million from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative to help with mitigation efforts in the city.
Mayor Friday Ellis and City Engineer Kim Golden announced the news in a news conference at City Hall on Friday.
"I've got some good news here from the City of Monroe for some long awaited drainage projects and it's all due to the hard work of our staff here and the City of Monroe and a lot of the teams that helped with this Watershed Initiative," Ellis said. "We just got announced that we have a roughly $3.1 million through Watershed for two key projects."
Governor John Bel Edwards launched the Louisiana Watershed Initiative in response to widespread flooding in 2018. The Initiative takes on a strategic and scientific approach to managing the watersheds and floodplains in Louisiana and helps to target areas in the state that are prone to flooding.
The funds from the Watershed Initiative will help with improvements on the Young's Bayou Retention Pond and the Georgia Street Pump Station, Ellis said.
Young's Bayou, located in a wooded areas off of Texas Avenue, will receive $2,680,000 for construction of retention ponds.
"It's actually to construct two ponds," Golden said. "One of them will be about 60 acres right there in the center of the city and that will protect 1400 structures and homes."
Golden said the project will help avoid up to $40 million in flood damage.
According to Golden, the anticipated timeline on the project is three years.
About $500,000 will be allocated to the Georgia Street Pump Station, a project Golden said has been in the works for a decade.
The project is being funded through several sources, according to Golden, including capital outlay and FEMA.
"The only thing we're waiting on is for FEMA to give us a Phase II approval to move forward with their funding," Golden said.
Golden said that money is part of hazard mitigation program and there are two phases. The city has received phase I approval to go into design.
"We've completed a design. We've made all of the submittals to FEMA over a year ago," Golden said. "They tell us the delays are because all of the other disasters going on in the country is what slows them down. I'm hoping any day now but there's no way to give you a considerate answer on that."
Golden said the project will protect 700 structure which has a history of repetitive flooding.
"There's really no other solution for that flooding situation there than to put a pump station because basically it exists in a bowl," Golden said.
According to Golden, there is a one year construction period for the Georgia Street project.
"As soon as we can get turned loose," Golden said. "We'll finalize those plans, put it out for bids and that can be about 12-14 months. As soon as we it can released."
Golden said the city submitted seven additional applications to Watershed Initiative for funding, which include the Oregon Trail Flood Wall and the Calypso Pump Station in Downtown Monroe.
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