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Corps budgets key $1.5 million for Blanchard flood study

Count the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Study among the Army Corps of Engineers’ $4.8 billion in funded projects this year.

The $1.5 million has been budgeted to finish the Blanchard River flood study. That’s half the cost of the $3 million environmental review. To date, the flood study has cost about $6 million, with the corps and the Hancock County commissioners splitting the bill.

The corps announced its budget this afternoon.

The commissioners did pay $400,000 so the environmental review could get started last fall, without a further commitment from the Corps. Initial field work to identify hazardous waste sites, cultural resources, endangered species habitat and wetlands has been completed.

URS Corp., an engineering firm in Cleveland, is overseeing the environmental review. The company provides technical and planning assistance in developing flood risk management ideas. The firm was hired in 2011 to finish the first phase of the flood study after federal funding ran out and work stopped.

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