BATON ROUGE — The state is accepting pre-applications from local and regional public entities to access $100 million in anticipated federal funds for projects that will address immediate flood mitigation needs throughout Louisiana.
The funding is part of the state’s proposed Action Plan to spend $1.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds. The state will soon submit this plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval and expects funding to be available in spring 2020. This step to solicit pre-applications will help ensure projects are ready for implementation when HUD approves the plan.
“Through this funding opportunity, we are prioritizing high-impact local projects that are already vetted and will provide immediate flood relief to communities and reduce known flood risks as quickly as possible,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This process will help address some of our state’s most pressing flood protection needs while we prepare to spend hundreds of millions more on similar projects throughout our state in the coming years.”
The state plans to allocate $60 million of these funds statewide and to evenly distribute the remaining $40 million to the state’s eight watershed regions. Any public entity is eligible to submit a project for consideration. Regional steering committees in each watershed region, which are in the process of being established, will select projects for their region that meet the low-risk, high-reward criteria used to guide all Round 1 funding decisions. The selected projects must align with the long-term resilience objectives of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative.
The state will host in-person briefings, as well as technical assistance sessions, in each watershed region Dec. 2 – 11 to provide more information and answer questions from prospective applicants.