WESTPORT, Conn. -- Westport has been awarded a grant of $650,000 from the Connecticut Department of Housing, First Selectman Jim Marpe announced.
The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program.
“Because this was a very competitive grant and is 100 percent paid for with federal funds, this is a major win for the town," said Marpe. "The funds will be applied to two important projects that were identified in our Downtown Master Plan. These projects will help mitigate the effects of flooding in downtown and will help make Westport more resilient when storm events do impact the town.”
The first project includes $400,000 to develop a Master Drainage Plan for the town. The plan will study current drainage conditions, assess drainage issues, and attempt to identify the causes of drainage problems. Additionally, it will suggest improvements in areas of repetitive flooding causing losses to the business community and areas with important public infrastructure.
The drain piping and underground network is more than 100 years old in some areas.
The second project includes $250,000 to do a stream analysis and planning study regarding Dead Man’s Brook. That body of water is one of the major tributary streams that collects water and delivers it through downtown Westport and into the Saugatuck River. The Myrtle Avenue culvert is a major problem location and contributes to much of the flooding downtown. The study will contemplate flood mitigation alternatives, including infrastructure improvements.
“While we may not prevent all flooding from occurring, the results of these funded projects will go a long way toward helping to protect Westport’s Downtown and to assist in potentially mitigating flood damage should it occur," Marpe said.
He also praised the town's effort in crafting its Downtown Master Plan, since its detail helped with obtaining the grant money. "Having a commitment to well thought-out projects and advanced planning greatly enhances the likelihood that the town will be awarded grant funding now and in the future,” he added.