Alexandria seeking $18.1 million for local flood mitigation efforts

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (COA / KALB) - The City of Alexandria has applied for $18.1 million in funding from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative.

Source: City of Alexandria

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved Louisiana’s action plan to spend $1.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds to move forward with projects to drastically reduce flood risks for communities throughout the state.

“Flooding is a significant issue locally and throughout the state,” noted Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “As I have said before, these projects are very costly and we will need assistance in the form of state and federal dollars to do all of the work we need to do locally. We are grateful for opportunities like this. But I want to point out, just because we apply doesn’t mean we’ll get the funding. I believe there were more than 300 applications submitted for this funding. But we are doing all we can to get the funds necessary to improve drainage in Alexandria.”

Alexandria submitted five specific projects for funding. They include:

•Chatlin Lake Canal Hardening, $2.2 million – Project involves the continuation of a concrete lining project to improve water flow.
•Chatlin Lake Canal Outfall, $10 million – Project involves providing an outfall from Sandy Bayou to Red River to relieve pressure on the Chatlin Lake Canal.
•Horseshoe Canal Crossing at US 165, $2.2 million – Project involves adding an additional 10 x 10 box culvert under Masonic Drive.
•Hynson Bayou Hardening, $2 million – Like the Chatlin Lake Canal Hardening project, this would be a continuation of efforts to improve the canal’s outflow.
•Martin Park Improvements, $1.7 million – Project involves the implementation of Rapides Area Planning Commission’s plan to provide increased flood protection in the Martin Park neighborhood.

News Channel 5 also spoke with Alexandria Councilman at Large Joe Fuller about the importance of this funding and the push the city is making to get the help they need.

"You know, the public needs to know,” Fuller said. “We're trying....we don't have enough money to do these big projects, but we are fortunate enough that some money came down from Washington, and we're applying for it, and we're going to continue to apply. I think it's very important that cities apply for monies when they become available. A lot of cities do it, but our thing is, in Alexandria, we're going to apply.”

State officials are currently reviewing the applications and grant award announcements are expected later this year.

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