WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and Rep. Bob Latta (OH-5) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2014 Work Plan includes $1.5 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District to complete its Chief of Engineer’s Report on the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project (BRFRMP). Today’s announcement is the culmination of more than a yearlong effort by Brown, Portman, and Latta who have worked to ensure that the Blanchard River project receives the funding necessary for its completion.
“This is excellent news for Findlay,” Brown said. “This is also an important step towards spurring economic growth and job creation in Northwest Ohio, and protecting the region’s homes and businesses. With this momentum, my colleagues and I will continue to fight for the project’s completion.”
“I applaud the news of this funding as it will help ensure that the Blanchard River region will continue to grow and thrive,” Portman said. “The Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project is about improving people's lives and the vitality of local communities. I am pleased the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers met our request to allocate funds to finish the study and I look forward to working with the Corps to ensure it is completed as soon as possible.”
“I am pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers has allocated the $1.5 million in federal funding needed to complete the Chief’s Report for the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management project,” Latta said. “Continuing to advance this project plays a central role in the safety and economic growth of the City of Findlay, the Village of Ottawa, and Putnam and Hancock Counties. I am thankful for the Corps’ willingness to work with Senator Portman, Senator Brown and me to ensure this project moves forward. I am also appreciative of all of the support from local governments to provide the matching funds for the completion of the Chief’s Report. I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders as this project progresses.”
The Blanchard River project, viewed by USACE as a model for the rest of the country, is a first of its kind flood risk management project. While the local cost-share has long been in place, an additional $1.5 million in federal funding had been needed to continue the project’s study phase.
Brown, Portman, and Latta continue to fight for the Ottawa and Findlay communities and to ensure completion of the Blanchard River project. Last month, the three members of the Ohio Congressional delegation sent a letter to the USACE Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, stressing the need to secure funding for the BRFRMP in the 2014 work plan. In January 2014, they sent a letter to the USACE urging it to follow recommendations of the bipartisan Senate-House appropriations bill that would benefit the BRFRMP. In October 2013, they urged the USACE to include funding for the project for the 2014 and 2015 Fiscal Years. And in July 2013, they continued to put pressure on the USACE to reprogram 2013 Fiscal Year funds toward the project.