First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that Congressman Jim Himes has secured $300,000 in federal funding to have the Army Corps of Engineers perform a feasibility study to examine flood damage reduction, shore protection and bank stabilization in Fairfield and New Haven Counties. The study will include coastal areas that were affected by Storms Sandy and Irene and neighborhoods susceptible to flooding for years. According to Congressman Himes’ office, “The $300,000 is the first installment of the federal government’s share of financing for the feasibility study, which will encompass both Fairfield and New Haven Counties. The study will be conducted over a three-year period, with the estimated $3 million cost shared evenly between the federal government and a non-federal partner. Improved flood control will help reduce damage to the environment, homes, businesses and local infrastructure that can be costly to communities and those who live along the water.”
First Selectman Tetreau, who recently attended a county-wide meeting with Congressman Himes on this announcement said, “This is very good news in light of the major storms our Town has faced over the past few years that have caused major damage to town and private properties. I am very appreciative of Congressman Himes’ efforts to secure this important funding which comes at a pivotal time when the Town’s Flood and Erosion Control Board has put together a draft Coast Flood Mitigation Plan that has several components to help reduce flooding in our beach area. The funding may also help other neighborhoods in our Town that get flooded during major storms.”
Congressman Himes said, “This Army Corps of Engineers study is a critical first step toward a long-term action plan to address the dangerous and costly flooding that has plagued Fairfield County for generations. I fought hard for this funding because we must take concrete steps to protect families, homes and businesses from the next Sandy or Irene, as well as the persistent flooding that affects our communities.”
Fairfield's Department of Public Works Director Joe Michelangelo said, “We are grateful for the work that Congressman Himes has done to get the Army Corp to initiate this study. However, as Congressman Himes states, this is the first step towards reducing shoreline flooding throughout Fairfield County. This should help further develop some of the concepts the Town has been considering and will complement and parallel our efforts. The study may help us work towards our ultimate goal of making our town safer and more storm-resilient.”
To read the 78-page Flood and Erosion Control Board’s Plan, please go to www.fairfieldct.org/fecb under Files and Documents. The Plan was presented to the Board of Selectmen in January. Following three public meetings on this Plan, the Flood and Erosion Control Board will consider the input received and report back to the Board of Selectmen to further develop this plan.