The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced the latest round of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients under the program’s Planning category. This time, each of the grantees — the communities of Schuyler, Greeley and co-applicant Fremont-Inglewood — all have something in common: they will use their funding to address the impacts of the March, 2019 floods, while becoming better-equipped to withstand future events.
“The CDBG Planning category is a flexible, forward-thinking resource that is now supporting Nebraska communities’ efforts not only to rebuild in the wake of a disaster, but to become stronger and more resilient than ever,” said DED Director Dave Rippe.
In early April, DED released a notification reminding communities that not only was the application cycle for the CDBG Planning category still open, but planning funds could be used to support disaster response. In all $125,125 was available for award, with individual communities eligible for up to $40,000 and multijurisdictional applicants eligible for $60,000. Per the CDBG program’s national objectives, projects needed to benefit a service area comprised of at least 51% low-to-moderate income individuals and families.
DED notified recipients of their awards earlier this month.
In Fremont-Inglewood, a $60,000 award and $15,000 local match will support a study of the local levy, which was breached during the March floods. In Fremont, over 356 residential and commercial properties were damaged by the water, while around 90 percent of homes in Inglewood had some level of damage. The planning study will evaluate the levy’s existing condition and determine the feasibility and costs of improving its integrity to prevent future catastrophes.
With a $25,125 award and $7,375 in matching funds, Greeley will evaluate severe damage that occurred to its wastewater treatment facility. At the peak of the flooding, the plant was submerged in two to five feet of water, resulting in its complete shutdown and a severe impact on residents. The evaluation will give Village leaders guidance on how to move forward with repairs and/or replacement or relocation of the facility, as well as potential groundwater remediation measures.
Finally, Schuyler’s $40,000 award and $12,500 in local match will help the City assess the performance of its interior drainage system. At one point during the floods, all eight of the city’s sewer outlet points were completely submerged; this caused sewers to back up and spill out onto the streets in the city’s southeast corridor, which contains the downtown district. The planning study will determine potential actions to reduce the deficiency of the drainage system and decrease the risk of backwater flooding from nearby streams.
Applications for the next round of CDBG Planning funds are being accepted until October 30. Earlier this month, the agency also announced an open cycle for non-specific disaster-related funding under CDBG’s Emergent Threat category. For more information on that funding source, visit https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/CDBG/applications, or read the corresponding press release at https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/ded-announces-open-cycle-for-new-cdbg-category/.
For more information about the CDBG program, contact Steve Charleston at email@example.com or 402-471-3757.