Federal grant helps fund Sturgis flood wall repairs

Federal grant helps fund Sturgis flood wall repairs

STURGIS, KY (WFIE) - The city of Sturgis recently landed more than a quarter million dollars in federal grant money.

The funds will help pay for flood wall repairs but that portion is only about a quarter of the total project cost.

Surrounding roughly 1,800 residents, Sturgis' flood wall dates back to the mid 1960′s which provides a crucial piece of protection for the city.

"If the flood wall were to fail in a year like 2011 when I was Mayor when we had the third highest water here in recorded history, 70% of this town would’ve had water,” former Mayor and longtime resident Tommy Holt recalled.

The Army Corps of Engineers did an inspection and found more than dozen galvanized pipes are rusted where water flows out of the city. The pipes are original to the barrier.

Without this certification, the city would fall into a flood plain. And that means increased insurance, not just for homeowners but businesses too.

“If you sold your house, you wouldn’t be able to get a loan on your house until you had the flood insurance in place, and that would add months on a purchase on a house and we don’t need to make it any harder to buy a house in Sturgis,” Mayor Michael Hardesty explained.

The total project is estimated to cost roughly $1.1 million dollars.

The Green River Area Development District is applying for grant money on the city’s behalf, including with Delta Regional Authority who recently awarded them $256,000. Mayor Michael Hardesty tells 14 News this initial funding sponsor should help open opportunities for additional funding in the future.

“It lines us up real well to get, as I’ve been told, the other dominoes will fall into place. This is the first domino that had to fall,” Hardesty added.

Mayor Hardesty says all funding needs to be in place before work can start.

After finalizing the funding, the city will need to wait until after the flood season to start work which would be late next spring.

Officials have applied for other grants to make up the more than $800,000 difference.

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