CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today released $951,013 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the town of Montezuma for the acquisition of up to 20 homes and 23 vacant lots along the Wabash River.
“The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program enables communities to implement critical mitigation measures to reduce the risk of loss of life and property,” said Andrew Velasquez III, regional administrator, FEMA Region V. “The acquisition of these homes and properties permanently removes the structures from the floodplain and greatly reduces the financial impact on individuals and the community when future flooding occurs in this area.”
These homes are located along the Wabash River, and have sustained repeated serious damage from floods. Due to repeated flooding, the ground under these homes is slowly eroding, putting these homes at risk for collapsing into the river. Once acquired, they will be removed from the risk of flooding and a permanent open space will be created.
“Buying and re-allocating properties can be one of the most cost efficient methods to manage areas that are at continual risk of flooding,” said Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Executive Director Joseph Wainscott. “Funds spent now to prevent recurring flooding protects citizens and local and state government interests from repetitive negative financial impact.”
HMGP provides grants to state and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures. Through HMGP, FEMA will pay 75 percent of the project’s total cost, which is $1,268,017. The remaining 25 percent of the funds, $317,004, will be provided by the town of Montezuma and a Community Development Block Grant.
The funds will be available once a final agreement is signed between Montezuma and IDHS, which administers the mitigation program.
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