ATLANTA, Ga. -- Federal, state and local grants totaling $1,237,242 will enable the Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to accelerate their efforts to eliminate the recurring backup of sewage that has plagued nearly 800 floodplain area residences during periods of heavy rainfall.
Seventy-five percent of the funding, $927,932, will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The city and the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) jointly will pay 13 percent of the total, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky will provide 12 percent.
Lt. Gov. Steve Henry announced the grant approval in conjunction with the Louisville/Jefferson Project Impact signing ceremony with FEMA that took place at Louisville's Waterfront Park today. W.R. Padgett, Director of Kentucky's Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) also signed the innovative public/private partnership agreement that enlists all sectors in the community to promote and undertake disaster-resistance efforts.
Padgett said the backwater valve program "is one of the most far-reaching mitigation efforts in Kentucky to date." He praised local elected officials for their commitment to the Project Impact program, singling out the Louisville/Jefferson County project as a "magnificent example" of community sponsorship.
The valve installation program was developed and implemented by MSD. It provides homeowners in the floodplain area with credits up to $2,700 to put in basement backwater valves that will reduce health threats and other public safety issues caused by sewage backups in severe weather conditions.
Executive Administrator Richard Bartlett of the Louisville/Jefferson Emergency Management Agency explained that the program "will provide structural flooding protection against the backflow flooding of basements, a needed cure for a noxious occurrence."
FEMA Regional Director John Copenhaver noted that Louisville was the first Kentucky community to participate in FEMA's Project Impact program, which uses projects like the sewer drain mitigation plan to make communities more disaster resistant.
Project Impact is a FEMA initiative that involves a partnership of public and private sector agencies to prevent injury and property loss in future disastrous events. Begun in 1997, it encompasses 118 communities throughout the nation.
Copenhaver said FEMA's cost share of the project brings to nearly $20 million the amount obligated in the commonwealth for such protective measures during the decade of the 1990s.