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Senators, congressman urge Corps of Engineers to fund Blanchard flood control

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, have again urged the Army Corps of Engineers to fund the Blanchard River flood control project for 2014.

In a second letter sent to the Army Corps of Engineers today, the senators and congressman ask the corps to ensure that the project is funded in its 2014 work plan. They also urge the corps to consider the impact flood control would have on economic development in Findlay, Ottawa, and throughout the Blanchard River watershed.

“The Blanchard River region is primed for growth, but it won’t be able to reach its full potential as long as the threat of flooding remains,” Portman said. “In the end, this project is about improving people’s lives and the vitality of the communities it will protect. I will continue to fight for its completion.”

“The Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project will help spur economic growth and protect the Findlay and Ottawa communities from devastating disasters,” Brown said. “But for this to happen, the U.S. Army Corps must commit the funds necessary for the project’s completion. Until this happens, my colleagues and I will continue this fight on behalf of Northwest Ohio’s citizens.”

“The (flood project) is critical for Northwest Ohio’s economic future, and while I am encouraged by the USACE’s response to date, it is imperative that it allocate the necessary remaining funds to ensure this portion of the project is completed,” Latta said.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 provided a 10 percent funding increase for the corps, including $8 million in unallocated funds for flood control projects, as well as $3.6 million for general flood and storm damage reduction projects. The letter notes that these additional funds are supposed to support flood control studies, particularly those that lead to significant economic benefits by avoiding damages caused by flooding such as the Blanchard River study.

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