Post Flooding Recovery for the City of Roman Forest
April 27, 2018
I wanted to give you an update on all of the recovery efforts still going on after the disaster of Hurricane Harvey and the 2 previous floods that happened in 2016.
The city has received funds from FEMA for the 2 disasters in 2016. During the grant writing process the costs of the road projects were estimated using county pricing as there is an Interlocal Agreement with Montgomery County Precinct 4 and the City of Roman Forest. The Interlocal Agreement states that the county will only charge the city for the cost of the materials. However, since the county has also suffered from all three disasters, the work in the county has become a priority over the work in the city. The county has offered to do a mile of road each year at that pricing and they have recently done Appian Way from Roman Forest Boulevard to Dogwood Lane. The next mile will be months later.
In addition to the cost difference between the county paving our roads and sending the work out to bid there is also a 25% cost match required by the city for FEMA funding. There are funds allocated from our 2016 Certificate of Obligation for road repairs however, many of the roads claimed for FEMA funds are not in that original plan of roads to be paved. The deficit has not been determined yet. City Council will be holding workshops in order to determine what roads will be completed first.
The city has been working with FEMA for our current Harvey claim as well as discussing options for the two previous disasters for additional funding. There have been some options given by FEMA that need to be further researched to determine the best option for Roman Forest for the first two claims. We are also partnering with the City of Houston and other surrounding cities in writing to Governor Abbott requesting the State of Texas to utilize the Economic Stabilization Fund or other state funding sources to participate fully, at 100 percent, in covering the local match of mitigation projects.
In the Hurricane Harvey FEMA Claim the city will only be required to match the funds by 10%. This still creates more obligations from the city. There are 5 particular projects that we aren’t just making a claim on but we are asking for mitigation as well. Hopefully, the letter to the Governor will help release funds in order to provide the match on these projects.
As you are aware, the flood water from Harvey extended well beyond what the city has ever seen. As a result the entire pool house and pavilion and park were under water. There were immediate steps taken by the city after the flood to clean as much as we could in order to avoid further damage in the park area (cleaning the pool, replacing pumps, etc.). There were also immediate repairs done to city hall after the roof leaked and damaged police equipment, an office and council chambers.
The city filed an insurance claim and is just now receiving funds from our claim, however there is a deductible. After the insurance claim is balanced and settled we can finish our FEMA claim on the contents and building damages to recover our deductible. There is also depreciation on loss of contents and damage. The city will be making another insurance claim after the repairs are done to receive the amount calculated for depreciation.
There has been a little progress at the park where we have added playground mulch and some additional park furniture will soon be here. The funds for this initiative are from one of the projects awarded from the FEMA claim from the first flood in 2016 as well as a grant in the amount of $30,000.00 from East Montgomery County Improvement District. The city is using the EMCID grant as the match for this project.
As you can tell our administrative staff has been working hard to ensure the city recovers fully from these disasters along with doing their normal jobs. Thank you staff for all of your hard work, it doesn’t go unnoticed!!
Mayor Chris Parr