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Ball supports flood assistance proposal

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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball recently testified before the House Transportation & Environment Committee in support of House Bill 428, which would authorize the Maryland Department of the Environment to use the comprehensive flood management grant program to award grants to subdivisions that incurred infrastructure damage caused by a flood on or after Jan. 1, 2009.

As a result of two devastating floods that struck Ellicott City in 2016 and 2018, Howard County has spent $38.1 million repairing damaged infrastructure, removing storm debris and completing additional emergency work.

“This is money that was largely unbudgeted. After each storm, the county transferred funds from other priorities to do the work necessary to keep the businesses and residents of Ellicott City safe,” said Ball. “While there are some opportunities to receive reimbursement from federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Highway Administration, that process can be cumbersome and does not come close to covering the full cost of the destruction.”

Ball’s recently announced Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan – a comprehensive flood mitigation and economic recovery plan for Ellicott City – includes the need for additional flood control and watershed capital projects, as well as an emergency alert system.

In addition to county funding, if passed, HB 428 would be one of many sources the County would pursue to assist with funding the new alert system. Ball’s testimony can be found at https://bit.ly/2TXPvxS. To read more about the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan, visit www.ecsafeandsound.org