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The Journal Gazette

Monday, February 27, 2017 9:13 am

Verbatim: $676,860 in grants awarded to Decatur, Fort Wayne

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security issued this news release today:

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) today announced $676,860 in federal grants to buy 10 flood-prone properties in the cities of Fort Wayne and Decatur.

“These properties have experienced repetitive flooding and damage, resulting in recurring economic injury to the individual and family owners,” said Indiana Department of Homeland Security Executive Director Bryan Langley. “Purchasing these properties will take them out of harm’s way, and remove some of the financial and emotional stress from this community and these property owners.”

The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Fort Wayne and Decatur applied for the grants through state homeland security, which will manage the grants and be the liaison among local government, organizations, homeowners and FEMA.

FEMA will pay 75 percent of the $570,875 eligible project cost in Decatur. The remaining 25 percent of the funds, $142,719, will be provided by the City of Decatur and the Maumee River Basin Commission to complete the six-structure project. The City of Fort Wayne will receive 75 percent of the $331,605 eligible project cost for its acquisition project of four structures. The city and the Maumee River Basin Commission will fund the 25 percent cost share of $82,901.

“The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program enables communities to implement critical mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of loss of life and property,” said Janet Odeshoo, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region V. “These projects will lessen the financial impact on individuals and the communities when future flooding occurs in this area.”

The City of Decatur property buyouts are for six flood-prone residential structures in the floodplain of the St. Marys River. The City of Fort Wayne buyout is for four structures located in the Junk Ditch and St. Marys River floodplains. The 10 structures will be acquired, demolished and the properties returned to their natural state in perpetuity.

Rod Renkenberger, Executive Director of the Maumee River Basin Commission, said, “The Indiana Legislature created the Maumee River Basin Commission (MRBC) to reduce flood damage in northeast Indiana. With the strong support of our partners at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, we will continue implementing flood buyout projects in Auburn, Decatur, and Fort Wayne. These projects represent one more step toward reaching the national, state and MRBC objective of making communities flood resilient.”