County Wins Federal Funding to Rehabilitate Dams
$81 Million Will Extend Life, Increase Safety, Create Jobs
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (Aug. 27, 2014) – Maricopa County residents will benefit from $81.1 million in extended flood protection and related jobs thanks to an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that was approved by the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (District) Board of Directors (Board) today.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly the Soil Conservation Service, awarded the funding to the District to rehabilitate four dams: Buckeye Flood Retarding Structure (FRS) #1, White Tanks FRS #4, Powerline FRS and Vineyard Road FRS. The one-time funding represents 31 percent of a total $262 million which is the result of recent passage of Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill. Rehabilitation of the four dams must be completed by September 30, 2018.
The District’s Dam Safety Program recognized a need to rehabilitate the dams after safety assessments were performed on each of the structures. The dams are currently functional. However, each of them would have eventually been taken out of service had the funding not been awarded.
"These dams protect the county’s most valuable resources, its residents," said Denny Barney, District 1 and Chairman of the FCD Board. "This award shows the NRCS’s recognition and understanding of our dam safety program. As we saw during the monsoon thunderstorms last week, our flood control structures are important to helping ensure public safety from flood waters."
Not only will the $81.1 million extend the functional life of each dam for another 100 years, it will also help create jobs. A portion of the money will go towards design work however the majority funds contracts with construction contractors and suppliers.
"These Federal dollars are extremely beneficial," said Clint Hickman, who represents District 4 on the FCD Board. "These dams have prevented significant flooding in the past and are vital to preventing loss of homes, lives and property."
"We have recently witnessed how unexpected and disruptive flooding can be due to monsoon storms," said Steve Chucri, the FCD Board’s District 2 representative. "Extending the life of these dams to control and store flood water as it flows through the county is important."
One reason the District was given such a large percentage of the funding was due to the size and location of the dams. Most NRCS dams are small and protect mostly agricultural land however each of these four dams protect both farmland and tens-of-thousands of people who now live downstream from the structures.
Another reason the District believes it received 31 percent of the allocated funds is because of its previous working relationship with the NRCS.
"We have a history of being ready, willing and able to partner with the NRCS on large projects like this," said Bill Wiley, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. "We understand that a good working relationship with the NRCS is just good business and it’s good for county residents. We are thankful that the NRCS recognized Maricopa County with this funding."
The Flood Control District of Maricopa County provides information to Maricopa County residents so that they can reduce their risk of injury, death, and property damage from flooding, while still enjoying the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains.
Please visit www.maricopa.gov/bos for information about each member of the Board of Supervisors.