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City closer to FEMA grant

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in Denver has selected Three Forks for further review before awarding the town a Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant, which would fund most of the city’s project.

Being selected for further review brings Three Forks one step closer to a $4.15 million grant, which will cover 75% of the town’s project costs. Three Forks City Treasurer Kelly Smith told The Voice that while receiving the award is unofficial, “it does look good.” During the city council’s Aug. 9 meeting, the council was informed that Jeremiah Theys, a Natural Resources Business Unit manager at Great West Engineering, had never seen an application this far into the process get denied.

Smith went on to explain that if there aren’t any issues, the city can expect to receive an award in early 2023. “We do plan to keep moving forward with the project,” she said.

Work to receive this grant has been in the works for more than two years, according to comments made at the Aug. 9 city council meeting.

Completion of Three Forks Area Flood Mitigation Project will help protect 1,000 structures from the effects of flooding while offering benefits such as protection from wildfires and drought. Additionally, the flood mitigation project will eliminate the need for flood insurance on several properties and alleviate building restrictions and codes in the current flood area.

These benefits offer cost savings to citizens, which would offset the possibility of a tax imposed to fund the remaining 25% of the project.

Although the city of Three Forks is one step closer to receiving the award, completion of the project is still a ways off. During the Aug. 9 city council meeting, Smith informed the council that “it’s still going to take years, but at least we know … we have the funds.”

The council has also made headway on the city water project and is currently waiting for the Department of Environmental Quality to permit Well 6A. While the DEQ attempts to fast track the approval process, the council was advised that the new well may not resolve the town’s water supply and demand problems.

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