(Updated 9:10 p.m.) In a fairly sizable newsletter, city staff laid out a sort of “state of flooding” message that lays out the city’s response to recent flooding issues and a longer-term look at infrastructure work in progress and on the horizon.
In a newsletter, staff outlined plans for the grant funding received from the state for flood prevention.
“A study and design for two concept projects exploring green infrastructure received funding from a state grant supporting communities that implement stormwater management practices,” stormwater management staff said in the Wednesday (Dec. 1) newsletter. “The state Department of Conservation and Recreation awarded a Community Flood Preparedness Fund (CFPF) grant worth $115,200 to the City on Oct. 5. Alexandria, one of just 19 communities to receive the grant, plans to use it for a study and design for two green infrastructure concept projects in the Four Mile Run watershed.”
The newsletter noted this was the first round of funding from the fund, which will award projects grants on a quarterly basis. Staff said the city will use the grant to fund a study and recommend two projects to implement green infrastructure — citing permeable pavement and tree box filters as the kinds of green infrastructure projects that can help reduce flooding.
“The green infrastructure projects would complement two large storm sewer projects planned for the Four Mile Run watershed,” the newsletter said. “Although green infrastructure will not eliminate flooding issues in the area, it will provide a complementary option to manage stormwater. It will also help improve water quality by filtering out pollutants.”
The newsletter said the city has already applied for the second round of funding through CFPF, which it hopes to use to fund a stormwater storage and conveyance project in Arlandria.
Meanwhile, the Flood Mitigation Pilot Grant Program was designed to help homeowners take individual action to help floodproof their homes, but staff said the program suffers an extensive backlog.
“City staff is diligently working through a backlog of more than 133 applications for its Flood Mitigation Pilot Grant Program,” the newsletter said. “The program, launched on Aug. 30, provides reimbursement up to $5,000 to homeowners who take measures to mitigate flooding in their homes. The City Council appropriated $750,000 starting in FY 2022 to initiate the program, with funding identified annually in the 10-Year budget.”
Staff said homeowners who experienced damage to their homes then installed flood mitigation measures are prioritized when applying for the program, at least in the current pilot phase.
Qualifying flood mitigation measures include basement window protection, flood gates and drain tiles under basement floors.
Meanwhile, the newsletter said the city is also working on smaller, neighborhood projects that aim to increase the functionality of the storm sewer system, identifying sites of future improvement including:
- Mount Vernon Avenue Cul-de-Sac and Hume Avenue Bypass
- Hume Avenue inlets and check valve
- East Mason Avenue inlets
- East Mason/East Alexandria flap gates and check vales
- South Jordan Street.
Lastly, the newsletter highlighted some of the larger capacity projects entering the design phase in Fiscal Year 2022.
“Capacity projects at Commonwealth Avenue and East Glebe Road, Ashby Street and East Glebe Road and Hooff’s Run Culvert/Timber Branch Bypass are part of the City’s Capital Improvement Projects Plan for FY 2022 – FY 2031,” staff said. “The City estimates storm sewer capacity projects to cost about $170 million.”
A full breakdown of the project costs and timeline estimates are below:
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