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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 17, 2019 1:00 am

Decatur awarded grant to buy flood-prone sites

$1.4 million for 18 houses, assisted living facility

Journal Gazette

The city of Decatur has been awarded a grant of nearly $1.4 million to acquire 18 flood-prone houses and the Evergreen Assisted Living Facility, all of which are in the St. Marys River floodplain.

The total cost to acquire the 18 homes is $1,757,750 and the city will receive about 75%, or $1,318,312.50 in federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The remaining 25% local match will be funded by an in-kind contribution of $148,500 and cash contribution of $75,937.50 from the city and a $215,000 contribution from the Maumee River Basin Commission, the city said Thursday.

The Evergreen project cost is $346,525 and the city will receive about 75% or $259,893.75 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The 25% local match $86,631.25 is being funded by a cash contribution from Adams Memorial Hospital, the city said.

In 1997, Decatur began working with Maumee River Basin Commission and Indiana Department of Homeland Security, formerly State Emergency Management Agency, to mitigate flood damages by acquiring flood-prone homes and removing them from the flood-risk area. The city said it has acquired 74 homes and removed them from the flood-risk area.

“The process of flood mitigation was initiated in 1997 by former longtime Decatur Mayor Fred Isch along with Rod Renkenberger of the Maumee River Basin Commission,” Decatur Mayor Ken Meyer said in a statement. “Mayor John Schultz continued the process during his tenure as Mayor, and now I am honored to be able to receive these funds on behalf of 18 more homeowners. With the funds we receive we will now have purchased 92 homes and one assisted living facility, elevated three homes and flood proofed another three homes from the flood prone area.”

“The City of Decatur is an excellent example of a community striving for Flood Resiliency,” said Rod Renkenberger, Executive Director of the Maumee River Basin Commission. “I applaud the commitment Mayor Ken Meyer and Decatur City Council have made to continue mitigating flood damages in Decatur. Decatur is a Flood Mitigation showcase community.”

Maumee River Basin Commission Executive Director Rodney Renkenberger said Decatur's investment in flood mitigation has paid dividends by reducing the number of homes subject to flood damage and has allowed the city and county emergency services personnel to focus on other vulnerable areas.