CAMP VERDE - At Wednesday's Town Council regular session, the Council directed Town staff to prepare and submit a Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant application under Federal Hazard Mitigation Assistance (FEMA) guidelines. The grant, if the Town's application is accepted, would be used for stormwater drainage improvements in the Verde Lakes subdivision.
The $1.5 million grant request would require the Town to match 25 percent of the grant. Staff would likely seek matching fund assistance through an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) or joint project with Yavapai County Flood Control. If necessary, the $375,000 match amount could possibly come from the Town's contingency fund, said Town Manager Russ Martin.
"Thankfully, it doesn't rain like that every day," Martin said.
If the grant request is accepted, the Town would have three years to complete the work.
Until FEMA either accepts or rejects the Town's PDM grant application, "all we can do is come out and help clean up," said Camp Verde Public Works Director Ron Long, who added that applying for the grant "is not a guarantee that we're going to get anything. But we've got to do something."
"We are aware of all of your problems and we want to do something to help you," Long told Camp Verde residents present at the work session. "We're seeing this in every neighborhood in town. We're going for Verde Lakes because it is a FEMA flood plain. If we can get this grant, we can make a big difference at Verde Lakes."
Verde Lakes, a 1,580-lot subdivision in southeast Camp Verde, was first developed in 1969. Since September 1970, Verde Lakes has experienced multiple severe flooding events, including this year's monsoons. In 1994, FEMA assistance helped the Town repair damaged roads in the subdivision.
Though Verde Lakes residents are likely to be pleased that the Town is now working on a solution for their stormwater drainage problems, folks who live in other parts of Camp Verde are also reeling from the summer's monsoons.
Camp Verde resident Laura Holgate told the Council that the summer monsoons forced her family to leave their home.
"On Aug. 30, water came into my place," Holgate said. "My husband is an invalid. We're homeless now. We're trying to do our best."
Camp Verde resident Fred Smith went as far as to volunteer to help with the clean up process.
"I want you to know we're behind anything you want to do here," said Smith.
Also during Wednesday's regular session, the Council approved a cooperative agreement between the Town and Friends of the Verde River Greenway. The Council also approved a proclamation designating September as National Recovery Month.