GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWDC) received a grant of $161,150 to correct flood damage in the Big Walnut Creek Water Shed Alliance.
It is one of nine Indiana counties to receive money from the 2008 Indiana Natural Disaster Fund. These grants were established with a $45 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to the Indiana Association of United Ways.
The SWCD worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA) and Big Walnut Creek Water Shed Alliance in specifying damage and measures the costs to be incurred to assist in correcting flood damage.
They have also been working with county commissioners and the highway department to identify key areas for restoration and repair near county roads and bridges.
"We've been working with the county highway to identify ditches and drainage ways that need to be cleaned out so sediment stays out of the creeks," said Sue Crafton with SWDC.
The June 2008 flood altered the natural course of the waterways in Putnam County. Large amounts of soil and vegetation were deposited into these channels, and watercourses were plugged by sediment and debris.
"If we don't do something about these areas, increased flooding from rainfall will occur. Sediment will continue to build on the exposed areas. Farmland surface and subsurface drainage courses are blocked and sealed off as a result of sediment deposits," said Crafton.
"The majority of the money will be spent along Big Walnut Creek where most of the damage occurred. Most of it will be dispersed to the county highway. They will use their equipment and do the work," added Crafton.
The SWCD and Natural Resources Conservation Service will be working to develop a process to provide cost-share to agricultural producers who suffered damage from the flood using the 2008 Indiana Natural Disaster Fund.
Landowners are also contributing to the restoration efforts to the tune of $104,250.
Additional projects in six counties, including Putnam, have been tabled pending resolution of other funding sources.
"The bridges project, along with several other projects throughout the state, are still viable but suspended pending other state and federal opportunities that may arise," said Dick Andis, Local Committee Chairman.
Factors determining grant awards include local needs, available resources, the scale and type of damage, local demographics and other funding commitments. Applications are based on the recommendations of local United Ways or community foundations that work with other local groups to set priorities for the funds.
For information about the IND Fund projects contact Dick Andis at 720-1342 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org