During a special-called meeting Monday of the Nicholasville City Commission, the commissioners authorized Mayor Russ Meyer to sign a resolution for an application of a Housing and Urban Development Disaster Recovery grant to build a dam at Riney B Park Aquatic Center.
Officials said this was a much-needed grant because whenever torrential rains fall, the downtown portion of Nicholasville is prone to flooding. The most recent case occurred in May 2010, when rains caused heavy flooding along 2nd Street.
“I’ve got (flood) pictures going back to 1991 where we’ve had logs floating through downtown through a drive-through at what was then First National Bank where Central Bank is now,” Nicholasville Utilities Director Tom Calkins said. “In May (2010), we had water downtown again.”
If approved on the federal level, the grant would give the city of Nicholasville and Jessamine County Fiscal Court $600,000 to build the storm-water control dam.
The process was started in early July when information was sent to 400 randomly selected residents urging them to complete a seven-question survey between July 11 and July 19. The postcard indicated why the survey was needed.
The flooding problem, Calkins said, is because water typically runs off property at the park and into lower-lying roads and a creek.
“The Riney B is adjacent to Brookview (Drive) and Meadowlark (Lane) and the upper reaches of Town Fork (Creek),” Calkins said. “The Riney B is higher in elevation than Brookview and Meadowlark, which essentially is bisected by Town Fork. Then the Town Fork eventually goes under the railroad and through downtown and goes (underground) at (Hager and Cundiff) Funeral Home and pops back up just below the health department (located at 215 E. Maple St.).”
According to a news release from Bluegrass Area Development District, 83 counties in Kentucky that were affected by the severe storms and flooding in May 2010 qualify for federal assistance.
The release goes to say that counties must meet one of three criteria in order to receive the funding. Calkins said because Nicholasville suffered flooding during that time, it qualified under the “meeting an urgent need” requirement.
The Kentucky Department of Local Government will accept applications until Aug. 15.