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Richmond applies for disaster relief funds

May 18, 2011

RICHMOND -- Sections of the town are still reeling from the massive, historic floods that ripped through Rhode Island in March 2010.

And the Town Council is hopeful that state funding could come down to Richmond in the form of Community Development Block Grants from the state government through a disaster relief project fund.

The state fund was created as a means of providing money for infrastructure improvements, housing repairs, and economic recovery projects that are necessary after the huge impact of the floods.

Town Administrator Steven Sette explained that Richmond is seeking $378,000 in funding to cover three projects. The most the town could have applied to receive is $2.2 million.

The first project deals with repairing and cleaning five retention basins in town that were impacted by the spring 2010 floods. The basins, Sette said, have debris and sludge that must be dredged or else they cannot work properly. And if they're not fixed, he said that there is a health and safety risk in town.

For example, the water is not allowed to flow properly, which causes adverse impacts downstream from the basins. Additionally, if the basins are not drained within 72 hours, they became a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The cost of this project is $113,000.

The second project is one that deals specifically with housing rehabilitation.

According to Sette, there is a private home in Richmond that was determined by the building official to be substantially damaged by the flooding. And, as a result, it is not safe to live in.

If the town receives the $210,000 grant, the old home would be demolished. In its place would be a two-floor ranch-style home that is completely up to the Energy Star standards. The project would be overseen by the Community Development Consortium.

And lastly, Richmond is looking to repair the parking lot at the Alton Fire Station. Sette said that the Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District does not have the funding to fix the lot and, as such, it has remained damaged since the floods. The cost for the repairs is $55,000.

After Sette's presentation, the Town Council read and unanimously approved a resolution applying for the funding.

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