Mayor Calls for State Funding of Hartford’s Flood Control System
September 04, 2008
Standing on top of the levee in the North Meadows neighborhood, Mayor Eddie A. Perez called for the State Bond Commission, chaired by Governor Rell, to appropriate $12 million in funding that has already been approved by the State Legislature to make further repairs and upgrades to Hartford’s Flood Control System. Federal standards are being implemented nationwide in this Post-Katrina era. Currently, Hartford meets the standards provisionally but must be recertified by July 2009. The issue is underscored as the nation recovers from Hurricane Gustov and braces for Hurricanes Hanna and Ike. Forecasters predict that Hartford will feel the remnants of Hurricane Hanna this weekend.
Mayor Perez says, “Hartford has already invested $10 million dollars of its own money to continue to meet federal standards and has appropriated another $3 million for ongoing work. However, this state money is needed to further continue these upgrades to our 7.4 miles of dike, 6 pump stations, and underground conduits. This is part of a total$50 million capital improvement plan.”
The City’s money has gone to upgrades such as levee repairs and new engines and gearboxes at the North Meadows and South Meadows Pump Stations. The $12 million investment that is hoped to be on the September agenda of the Bond Commission would go to conduit inspection, cleaning, and repair, additional pump station work, as well as continued levee improvements.
Hartford remembers its history. After the Great Floods of 1936 and 1938, the Army Corps of Engineers spent $1 billion in today’s dollars to build the current Flood Control System. For more than 70 years, Hartford’s system has been a standard of excellence, but now those Federal standards are being raised in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Mayor Perez says, “If Hurricane Katrina taught us anything, it is that we can’t afford to neglect this important infrastructure. In Hartford’s case, aside from our residents and workers, this infrastructure protects key regional assets including the State Capitol, the State Armory, the businesses that employ more than 120,000 people, and the MDC Sewage Treatment Plant. The Flood Control System is essential and so is this funding.”