Recently, SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program pledged to provide assistance to the Town of Scottsville in Albemarle County, VA, to assist the Town with their Flooding Emergency Response facilities. In 2018, during Hurricane Florence, the Town suffered flash-flood damage, evacuated some residents from low-lying areas, and fully deployed their flood control measures.
Currently, the Town has two flood control facilities: 1) a Levee and Pump Station along the James River, and 2) a Dam and Outfall Structure on Mink Creek. Since both facilities predate computerized controls, each requires manual access and operation. In an emergency, the Town’s first responders must move between the Dam and the Levee, monitoring both structures and manually adjusting gates and valves, in order to effectively operate the facilities. However, the path of travel between the sites is in the floodplain, and the Mink Creek floodway blocks access to the Dam, presenting a hazard to the first responders. During Hurricane Florence, first responders wore swift water rescue gear as a precaution, but flash flooding still jeopardized their safety and endangered the Town. During the Town’s debriefing sessions following Hurricane Florence, Town staff determined that a more direct raised path between the facilities is needed. The Town met with the USDA Harrisonburg Area Community Programs Specialist to discuss the need for the raised walkway, and to request funding assistance for the project. USDA agreed to provide funding for the project, but requested a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) detailing the project and its design be completed before any funds are expended. SERCAP has partnered with the Town and USDA, by awarding the Town a $5,000.00 Facilities Development Grant to secure the engineering services needed to complete the required PER.
Without SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program, and other similar services, many low-income individuals and communities would be forced to go without such necessities as water/wastewater infrastructure solutions, reliable access to clean drinking water, safe and affordable housing, indoor plumbing, other community development and infrastructure needs, and more. It is important to remember that even in the US in the 21st Century; there are those who do not have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water, environmentally sound septic facilities, and affordable housing.
*Funding for SERCAP’s Regional Department is made possible by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Grant, USDA RD’s Technitrain Program, the Drinking Water Compliance Grant through the EPA, and the EPA Private Well Grant. SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program is made possible by a Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD). Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs in Virginia, are leveraged by the Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, administered by DHCD.