Mayor Shelton pursues potential 90 percent FEMA reimbursement for Central drainage improvement plan

Mayor Shelton pursues potential 90 percent FEMA reimbursement for Central drainage improvement plan

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - City of Central's Mayor Jr. Shelton is continuing to pursue extensive, cost-saving measures for the citizens of Central as the administration work to prepare a thorough foundation for a drainage improvement plan.

Central currently has approximately 272 miles of roadway drainage systems, and as estimated 100 miles of off-road drainage ways to maintain. That estimate does not include the Amite River or Comite River.

Blockages of the drainage system have been encountered recently, leading to system wide inspection and emergency maintenance removal of obstructions to aid in protecting Central citizens from future flooding. Blockages are primarily caused in these areas by beaver dams, downed trees and limbs, man-made debris, clogged pipes, and private bridges.

Since the flood, recovery has been underway to clear known drainage system blockages from roadside and off-road drainage ways.

The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) is contracted to perform Municipal Services for the City of Central. According to their contract, IBTS is responsible for all 275 miles of roadway drainage but only 20 acres of off road drainage. IBTS and CSRS, an engineering firm contracted by the city to oversee the FEMA reimbursement process, have conducted a comprehensive analysis to identify and clear blockages within the drainage system.

The City of Central is addressing the immediate maintenance response in the form of two separate Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

The first RFP shall be citywide and include the removal of man-made debris or dead vegetation. This will address known blockages in over 200 locations throughout Central.

The second RFP will include the removal of man-made debris and both live and dead vegetation from specific areas around Beaver Bayou and a tributary to Blackwater Bayou.

The proposals will be received and independently evaluated for selection by June 1.

The city will use the $4 million allocated by the city council to fund those proposals.

All of the proposed work must be coordinated with FEMA, GOHSEP, and the Army Corps of Engineers to maximize the ability to recoup any monies that may be eligible for reimbursement and to adhere to local, state, and federal requirements with these two projects.

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