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Public Works applies for $1M in emergency flood-repair funds


August 13, 2020

DAYTON–An emergency $1,000,000 loan application was recently submitted to the Washington County Road Administration Board (CRAB) by Columbia County Engineer Chuck Eaton.

The loan is to cover repairs from the February flood, Eaton informed the Columbia County Commissioners (BOCC) at a recent meeting. It is general practice for CRAB to award up to half of the requested amount at a time. Eaton said that CRAB contacted him indicating that he could ask their board for the remaining $500,000 that is available for the county.

The repayment of the interest-free loan will be placed in the budget for the 2023 pay-off requirement. This loan will provide the immediate revenue to rehire some employees who were laid off and new hires to accomplish the backlog of repair projects. “We can’t get things repaired fast enough, because we don’t have the bodies to do it,” said Eaton.

He indicated that there are some employees who are considering retirement, so new hires could potentially continue their employment once the repairs are completed. The commissioners agreed that seeking the additional loan funds was the best course of action. If CRAB formally approves the additional funds, the documents will be approved at a future meeting.

Ashley Strickland, Director of Emergency Management, reported that the City of Dayton is pursuing grants through Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) through FEMA to cover damages caused by the flood within the City Limits. The city submitted two applications illustrating what repairs needed to be done. Strickland indicated that it is a long process where it takes two to three years for the money to be dispersed.


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