Do you support Pinellas County's efforts to pursue a grant for flood protection, erosion control, water quality enhancements, drainage improvements and the construction of a new community greenway trail in the Joe's Creek Watershed (Lealman and Kenneth City area)? Please explain.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides grants through the Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program to state and local governments. On June 16, 2021, the Department of Economic Opportunity launched the Rebuild Florida General Infrastructure Program Round 2 application cycle, making a total of $175 million available for eligible applicants, including units of general local government. The CDBG-MIT program provides resources to address a wide range of mitigation projects that help Florida communities better withstand future disasters. Final proposals are due on Sept. 17, 2021.
Pinellas County is seeking up to $26 million in funding to improve mobility, resiliency and flood mitigation within the Joe’s Creek Watershed. Pinellas County envisions a greatly improved Joe’s Creek channel corridor that restores floodplain capacity and improves water quality while offering recreational opportunities, supporting multimodal transportation and creating improved resilience to flooding impacts.
The Joe’s Creek Greenway Restoration Project combines two major infrastructure improvement projects that run through low to moderate income areas of the Town of Kenneth City and the Lealman Community Redevelopment Area:
1. Restoration of the Joe’s Creek Greenway, including channel widening for improved capacity and water quality and riparian habitat enhancements and a multimodal trail as programmed by Forward Pinellas, the metropolitan planning organization for Pinellas County.
2. Implementation of flood mitigation projects identified in the Joe’s Creek Watershed Management Plan, which will lower the base flood elevation within the 100-year floodplain, reducing flood risk.
This project includes preliminary engineering, design and construction of the Joe's Creek Greenway improvements, adjacent drainage channel improvements, a Lealman regional stormwater facility, a multimodal trail and projects identified by the watershed management plan. Goals of the project include watershed-wide flood protection, erosion control and water quality improvements. These projects will minimize risk, improve resiliency and catalyze redevelopment in the Lealman Community Redevelopment Area and in the low to moderate income areas of the watershed. These efforts are highly interdependent and will benefit from a coordinated single project approach.
(The map below shows the Joe's Creek Watershed boundary, the main channel of Joe's Creek and the proposed path of the new greenway trail)
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