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Town to receive a NRCS grant for erosion repairs

March 31, 2011

Photo: Angelena Chapman Signs of erosion along the Pawtuxet River near where it runs underneath Sandy Bottom Road in Coventry. The town has entered into an agreement to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The town will match with $11,000 in cash or in-kind in order to complete repairs.

ANGELENA CHAPMAN
achapman@ricentral.com

Approved at Monday night’s town council meeting the town of Coventry has entered into an agreement for erosion repairs along the Pawtuxet River.
The agreement is for a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Damage suffered throughout Coventry is still being addressed and the erosion problems along the Pawtuxet River have the March 2010 floods to blame. This grant will be for work in the Sandy Bottom Road area,
The grant the town will receive is part of the NRCS’ Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) created by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters. Their website states that “It is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms, and other natural occurrences.”
It takes on projects sponsored by a political agency rather than on an individual basis. The work done must benefit multiple persons according to their website.
Town Manager Thomas Hoover confirmed Wednesday that the agreement was approved by the town council at Monday night’s meeting.
The total amount for the erosion repair or mediation project is just over $100,000, Hoover said, with the NRCS contributing just over $89,000 and the town matching that with $11,000.
The money will cover both the cost to design and do the work, Hoover said.
The town’s $11,000 can be given either in cash or in-kind, he said.
He is hoping that the Coventry Department of Public Works can help with that in order to minimize the cash disbursement on the town side, he said.
Hoover said the work will be done by a private contractor and will go out to bid just like any other project.
He said they would need to have commitments by September, but did not specify when the work is expected to begin.
Dialogue began with NRCS last year, Hoover said, when they participated with both state and federal agencies in efforts to help during the floods.
Hoover said they helped out with bank reimbursement near the Concordia and Anthony Mills when there were problems at the General Nathanael Greene Memorial Bridge, previously called the Laurel Avenue Bridge.
Hoover said the NRCS basically works on riverbanks and waterways.
Concerning general flood recovery, Hoover said they have received reimbursement for clean-up and various grants for mitigation and that there is still money being sought after and being given to cities and towns affected by the March 2010 floods.

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