U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has approved federal funding for flood control efforts in the Town of Martin. This week, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2010 Energy & Water Appropriations bill, which included $9.5 million for flood control and flood damage reduction activities along the Levisa and Tug forks of the Big Sandy and Cumberland Rivers. The legislation requires the Corps to dedicate at least $3 million towards activities in Martin, and directs the Corps to expedite the acquisition of eligible structures impacted by the May 2009 flooding event.
“There is no question that the town of Martin is in great need of flood control protection. The May 2009 flooding delivered yet another blow to a community that has been hit hard year after year by the destruction that Mother Nature can bring,” said Rogers. “I remain vigilant in pursuing the necessary funding to complete this critical project and I am pleased to report that we were successful at including a provision which requires the Corps to immediately commence appraisals and title work to buyout structures that were damaged by the recent floods. While many challenges still lay ahead and I know patience is worn thin, this funding is a step in the right direction and will help Martin residents relocate to higher ground, re-establish lives, renew the economy, and restore this vibrant community.”
Phase I of the project, construction of the elevated commercial re-development site, is 100% complete. This legislation directs the Corps to expedite the Phase 3 and Phase 4 acquisition of properties that were damaged by the floodwaters in the May 2009 flood event. Approximately 180 commercial and residential structures in the mandatory and voluntary acquisition programs will ultimately be eligible to participate. The Corps is expected to move forward with relevant pre-acquisition activities in the near future, including a landowners meeting, title searches and property appraisals. To date, Rogers has secured nearly $30 million for the flood control project in Martin.
This legislation is scheduled to be considered by the full House of Representatives later this summer. Rogers works to obtain federal funding for projects across southern and eastern Kentucky in his role as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.