County Wins Federal Funding to Rehabilitate Dams

County Wins Federal Funding to Rehabilitate Dams
County Wins Federal Funding to Rehabilitate Dams
$81 Million Will Extend Life, Increase Safety, Create Jobs

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Aug. 27, 2014) – Maricopa County residents will benefit from $81.1 million in extended flood protection and related jobs thanks to an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that was approved by the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (District) Board of Directors (Board) today.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly the Soil Conservation Service, awarded the funding to the District to rehabilitate four dams: Buckeye Flood Retarding Structure (FRS) #1, White Tanks FRS #4, Powerline FRS and Vineyard Road FRS. The one-time funding represents 31 percent of a total $262 million which is the result of recent passage of Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill. Rehabilitation of the four dams must be completed by September 30, 2018.

“These Federal dollars are extremely beneficial,” said Clint Hickman, who represents District 4 on the FCD Board. “These dams have prevented significant flooding in the past and are vital to preventing loss of homes, lives and property.”

The District’s Dam Safety Program recognized a need to rehabilitate the dams after safety assessments were performed on each of the structures. The dams are currently functional. However, each of them would have eventually been taken out of service had the funding not been awarded.

Not only will the $81.1 million extend the functional life of each dam for another 100 years, it will also help create jobs. A portion of the money will go towards design work however the majority funds contracts with construction contractors and suppliers.

One reason the District was given such a large percentage of the funding was due to the size and location of the dams. Most NRCS dams are small and protect mostly agricultural land however each of these four dams protect both farmland and tens-of-thousands of people who now live downstream from the structures.

Another reason the District believes it received 31 percent of the allocated funds is because of its previous working relationship with the NRCS.

“We have a history of being ready, willing and able to partner with the NRCS on large projects like this,” said Bill Wiley, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. “We understand that a good working relationship with the NRCS is just good business and it’s good for county residents. We are thankful that the NRCS recognized Maricopa County with this funding.”

Buckeye FRS #1, which intercepts flood flow off the White Tanks, is located in the West Valley just north of I-10. The dam provides flood protection for Interstate 10, parts of Buckeye, and surrounding farm operations.

White Tanks FRS #4, which controls flows southeast of the White Tanks Mountains, protects the Town of Buckeye and portions of the city of Goodyear from significant storms. The rehabilitation of the dam will also accommodate future multi-use benefits to Maricopa County residents such as hiking trails.

The Flood Control District of Maricopa County provides information to Maricopa County residents so that they can reduce their risk of injury, death, and property damage from flooding, while still enjoying the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains.

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