City gets federal funding for flood lessening
Business in downtown Hartselle could see some relief from future flooding after the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted approval for a $325,800 project to reduce storm water flood hazards.
The city is receiving $244,350 in federal dollars for the project. The city must match $81,450 in either funding or in-kind services.
Hartselle Department of Development Director Jeff Johnson said this is good news for the downtown businesses that have been adversely affected by flooding in the past.
“We’ve been working on this project for at least two years,” Johnson said. “It’s something that we need and we’re happy to receive the funding for it.”
Mayor Dwight Tankersley credited the city’s trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with the state legislative delegation as the reason why the grant was approved.
“This is a direct result of our visits with our local representatives and senators in Washington,” Tankersley said. “We received the appropriation from our representatives. That came long before we received word that the grant was approved.”
Johnson said the goal of this project is to slow the rate of water runoff upstream and increase the rate downstream to prevent future flooding.
This includes building features such as retention ponds upstream and cleaning or widening drains downstreams to help the water flow more freely once it arrives in downtown Hartselle. One of the main streams causing flooding actually runs under Cahoots and exits near the Farmer’s Market.
Johnson said the city can now begin the planning and engineering part of the project. He did not have a specific timeframe on when construction would start. Any projects would first have to receive federal approval first.