City awarded grant nearing $1 million

CELINA-The City of Celina will receive a grant totaling almost $1 million to help in flood relief and drainage, state officials recently announced.

The City will receive $990,000 to help repair damage caused by the 2010 flood, and to improve drainage close to the Clark subdivision area near the junction of the Cumberland and Obey Rivers, Mayor Willie Kerr said.

“This is a 100 percent grant, too,” Kerr said. “The City will not have to match any percentage on this grant. It is fully funded. You don’t see many of those, and we are very thankful to get it.”

The funds are part of a Community Development Block Grant for disaster recovery. The Tennessee Dept. of Economic and Community Development will work with local agencies in administering the grants. The Upper Cumberland Development District played a big part in securing the funds, Kerr said, and Ashley Pealer of the UCDD will serve as the project administrator.

A large part of the work will repair and improve drainage in the low-lying area just east of Clark subdivision, Kerr said. “There was quite a bit of damage done in that area by the flood two years ago, and it has always been something of a problem spot,” Kerr said. “When we’ve had flooding problems in the past, this is always one of the hardest-hit sections of town. This work will take care of the problems we’ve had in that area.”

Neal Westerman of the James C. Hailey and Company, who has been the City’s consulting engineer for many years, will serve as the project engineer. “We’re very glad to have Neal heading up this project for us,” Kerr said. “No engineer has as much knowledge about the City as he does.”

Westerman said the environmental and permitting processes could take several months, with work likely beginning sometime in the fall.