The Kingsland City Council approved two sets of matching funds at Monday’s, Jan. 22, meeting associated with correcting long-term drainage concerns.
The city matched a portion of funding with the funds contributed by the Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) associated with damage caused by Hurricane Irma’s heavy rains.
The City of Kingsland was approved to be placed in the Hazard Mitigation Grants Program after the area was declared a presidential disaster. For Kingsland to receive matching assistance, Governor Nathan Deal had to declare a state of emergency which he acknowledged on September 6th, 2017 for Georgia’s six coastal counties.
The first set of matching funds requested will be used to correct drainage issues in the neighborhoods of Gross Road-South & North Crossing, May Creek-Scrubby Bluff, Grove Blvd, Kingsland West-Meadows & Woodhaven.
The total contribution from FEMA, GEMA, and the city has as combined contribution total estimated at $3,602,820. FEMA will contribute 75 percent ($2,702,115), GEMA will contribute 10 percent ($360,282), and the City of Kingsland will contribute 15 percent ($540,423).
The second set of matching funds requested will be used to correct drainage issues by purchasing generators to be installed at various lift stations, sometimes called pump stations, along with the purchase of warning device systems to better inform the public.
The total contribution from FEMA, GEMA, and the city has a combined contribution total of estimated at $553,000. FEMA will contribute 75 percent Federal ($414,750), GEMA will contribute 10 percent ($55,300), and the City of Kingsland will contribute 15 percent ($82,950).
Councilman Jim McClain discussed that during Hurricane Irma, there was confusion about the use of generators and the cost of maintenance. McClain emphasized that the city will have to come up with additional resources to upkeep the generators if they are not used.
The city’s contracted engineer, Robbie Cheek, was asked to discuss the use and life-span of generators for maintaining water drainage concerns. Cheek informed the Council that many communities along Georgia’s coast are requesting generators at every pump station.
Cheek stated that such a request often gets complicated and having generators at every station is expensive to operate and maintain. Cheek further emphasizes that coordination of certain lift stations with generators will have to be planned out as some portions of the city may not experience flooding during heavy storms.
Kingsland has 70 pump stations and, according to Cheek, the city will not be able to purchase that many and maintain generators at each pump station.
“Having a generator at each pump station is a logistical issue, and we [the city] cannot afford that,” said Cheek.
The total combined funds for the neighborhood drainage mitigation and the generators for the lift stations the two sets of funds approved by the Kingsland City Council is estimated at $4,155,820.