Hazard mitigation plans are often difficult for communities to actively implement because of financial constraints. Funding for mitigation projects can be difficult to secure, especially for expensive infrastructure which requires both design and construction. Working together on mitigation projects is a way communities can share and reduce project costs, though getting those connections in place is a challenge all its own.
The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD) developed partnerships with local communities by supporting hazard mitigation. While it has taken years to see the full effects of these relationships, their benefits are taking shape. These partnerships have led to new opportunities that have helped implement mitigation projects within the area. Regional, local and federal partnerships have been key in providing the funding and technical assistance vital for projects identified in the Lower Platte South NRD hazard mitigation plan. A variety of government partners developed and implemented these flood prevention and stormwater improvement projects. One of the most reliable funding sources available since 1983 includes Stormwater Improvement Bonds. These bonds can be used to fund a variety of projects including stormwater drainage, stream rehabilitation and water quality projects.
City of Lincoln: 56th and Morton Street
The city and Lower Platte South NRD used their multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan to address frequent flooding from storms in the 56th and Morton Street area. The city applied for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and secured 75% of the required project funding. The city and Lower Platte South NRD split the remaining cost-share. The project included conveyance channel improvements, replacing a box culvert, and bank stabilization.
City of Louisville: Mill Creek Bank Stabilization
In 2019, the city of Louisville partnered with the Lower Platte South NRD on a community assistance project to complete bank stabilization to protect a wastewater treatment plant from flooding and erosion. The wastewater treatment plant is in the floodplain between Mill Creek and the Platte River and was listed in the 2015 hazard mitigation plan as a critical facility. This city of Louisville project was approved for 50% cost-share assistance from the NRD’s Community Assistance Program.
City of Lincoln: Deadman’s Run Project
The city of Lincoln and Lower Platte South NRD utilized Stormwater Improvement Bonds and property taxes to fund the preparation of the Deadman’s Run Watershed Master Plan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) conducted a Section 205 flood risk study to identify the components of the Deadman’s Run Flood Reduction Project. As part of the project, the Corps will construct a conveyance channel, flume, and stream stabilization measures, including tree plantings and native grasses. The city and NRD will replace three bridges and construct a stormwater detention basin. This is a jointly funded project between the USACE, the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund, city of Lincoln and the NRD.
Joint Antelope Valley Authority: Antelope Creek
Antelope Creek has a history of flooding issues which have been addressed in past hazard mitigation plans. In 2000, Lower Platte South NRD, the city of Lincoln, and the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (UNL) teamed up to form the Joint Antelope Valley Authority (JAVA). The JAVA team looked at possible ways to daylight Antelope Creek which flowed for over a half mile through an underground box culvert since the 1920s. The goal was to open a channel to contain runoff from major storms. Cost-sharing methods to remove the floodplain designation from 50 acres of land which included 336 commercial structures and 961 residential structures.
- Partnerships and collaboration open new possibilities for implementing hazard mitigation projects.
- The city of Lincoln has used non-traditional funding, such as stormwater improvement bonds, to fund projects. They have also spread out projects across multiple bonds.
- According to retired city of Lincoln Engineer Roger Figard, “The Antelope Valley Project demonstrated to the entire city that the community can accomplish big things when we work together as partners.”
- Regional and federal partners provide funding and technical assistance important to supporting mitigation.
Related Documents and Links
The application window to apply for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants is open through Jan. 29, 2021. To learn more about funding eligible projects, review the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program and the new pre-disaster mitigation program, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities. A FEMA-approved HMP is required for funding under these programs.
- Lower Platte South Natural Resources District Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (approved May 2020, expires May 2025).
- City of Lincoln Stormwater Bond Projects.
- 56th and Morton case study and website.
- Army Corps on Deadman’s Run Flood Control Project.