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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

County waiting to hear about relief

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Putnam County has to wait until at least Feb. 9 to find out if it will receive any further funding beyond the $100,000 already given to the county by the IND Fund.

In June last year, a $45 million relief and recovery grant was given to the Indiana Association of United Ways as part of a relief and recovery grant from the Lilly Endowment.

The United Way of Putnam County, Inc. was given fiscal responsibility for the Putnam County funds and organized the group of key community leaders to lead the grant application process.

They are now waiting to hear if the county will receive any funds and if so, how much for which of the five projects identified.

"We're just in a state of hold right now. We feel we have a strong application and are just waiting to see," said Dick Andis, coordinator of the Local Committee charged with identifying and overseeing the application process.

The projects include bridges, ditches and roads; cropland and related waterways; Edgelea drainage and the Town of Fillmore drainage.

They are focused on identifying the root causes of repeated problems in the county and developing a plan to correct recurring flooding.

"The waterways and croplands project is pretty much funded with state and federal monies, as well as local landowner matches. But, there was a lot of debris in Big Walnut Creek, much of which has been deposited in farm fields," said Andis.

"This has been identified by the states as one of the big hits from flood of '08," he added. "Long-term restoration is needed for these areas where there has been significant land loss along the waterways."

In the Edgelea subdivision, the flood created blowholes and opened up an ancient sub-surface drain.

Streets in the town of Fillmore were washed out and floodwaters approached structures. Town officials are looking for a long-term fix in preventing future problems.

The Putnam County Highway Department conducted high-traffic counts on many county roads and assessed damage to culverts; pipes, ditches and drainage on county roads where they know flooding is an issue.

More than 115 county bridges were reported to have known or suspected damage including washouts, weak structures, and non-visible cavities under the roads and exposed pilings.

"The intent is not to apply a band-aid and wait until the next disaster, but to put in a permanent solution to sustain us through the long term," Andis said.

"There is no guarantee of funding. Every project will compete with every other project," he added. "We have no idea if we'll get any of the round two money or not until sometime after Feb. 9," he said.

The amounts for round two grants vary depending upon the circumstances and needs of each county. The IND Fund has a state committee who will determine the value of each project and the amount of funding.

"It's a mixed bag of activity and we're just waiting to see how it all sifts out," said Andis.

Anyone with questions or concerns about operations can contact Andis directly by calling 765-720-1342 or writing to Richard Andis, Local Coordinating Committee, 1342 E. CR 210, Greencastle, IN 46135.

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