Removal of Flood-Prone Properties...Why We're Doing It

May 29, 2012

In the 2010 Federal budget, $500,000 in the Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program was set aside for the City of Prattville by then Representative Bobby Bright. Based on the eligible grant projects and program restrictions requiring greater benefits than costs under FEMA's formula, we elected to use the funds to acquire and remove the most-often flooded mobile homes from the Candlestick Park Mobile Home Park. A grant application was submitted to FEMA for review and approval in November 2010. The city was notified of FEMA approval in April 2012.

Flooding has occurred in the park with some regularity over the past twenty years posing dangers to both residents and public safety personnel. Large flood events occurred as recently as 2009 and 2000. In addition, updated FEMA flood maps published in 2009 indicate that the flood risk is greater than shown by the original 1981 flood maps. Removal of these residents and lots from the floodplain offers a permanent solution to repeated flood response and recovery.

The $666,667 total project includes property acquisition, renter relocation, closing costs, surveying, demolition and project management. PDM grants require a 25% match by the city. The required matching funds were included in the Planning Department's FY 2012 budget. However, we expect, and designed the grant application in such a way, that the vast majority of the match will be provided through in-kind contributions by the City and the property owner rather than through cash contributions. We will have a better understanding of how much of a cash contribution, if any, will be required after we begin negotiations for the property later this year.

A grant application was submitted and approved for these funds. While the timing might not be optimum financially, if the funds are not utilized, it can negatively impact future grant awards for the City of Prattville. This is a worthwhile project and works toward the betterment of Prattville.