During their August meeting, two decisions were made by the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority to change how local projects are funded.
The first decision was for the funding of maintenance of the flood warning system, and the second was a transfer of funds to the project to protect Mary’s River Lumber and the Montesano wastewater treatment plant.
Over the past two years, maintenance on the warning system has been paid for by the Flood Authority communities based on their percentage of the population. The Flood Authority decided to change the way they allocate the approximately $60K a year to be 50% based on county population, and 50% based on historic FEMA flood insurance payments.
Lewis County will pay the majority of the costs, at over $39,000, with Grays Harbor paying over $13,000, and Thurston County paying the additional percentage.
Grays Harbor County can get the funding locally from any of the communities involved, but no matter how the total is achieved; the payments will be substantially lower than how it was paid prior.
The recent estimate for construction at Mary’s River Lumber, and the city’s wastewater treatment plant, was $4 million higher than had been estimated when the Legislature passed this year’s budget. With funding the flood threat can be eliminated in the next few months as the project is “shovel-ready”. The authority shifted the funds and the project can now start immediately.
For the project, funds will be transferred from 3 other projects in Wishkah, Mill Creek and Satsop that still need further engineering and permitting before construction can begin. These projects are still priorities and funding is expected from the Legislature that will allow the other projects to continue. Even with the transfer of funds to the Montesano project there is still funding for engineering design and permits to proceed as planned for the three other projects.