Last month, Burkittsville officials took another step in their ongoing efforts to recover from last year’s flooding and improve the town’s main street and other improvements.
Mayor Debby Burgoyne and Treasurer Chuck Rounds said town officials acquired an empty lot at 104 E. Main St., which will help with mitigation and other factors as part of the town’s Green Streets and Stormwater Management Plan.
Burgoyne said there are plans for the lot to be converted into a street-side playground, along with a rain garden, butterfly garden and other improvements.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) are coordinating with town officials on the overall Green Streets and Stormwater Management Plan, she added.
FEMA has allocated $41,813.73 for repairs to the town, FEMA spokeswoman Corey DeMuro said.
“Within Frederick County, FEMA is working with Burkittsville, MD on a single project encompassing eight repair sites identified by the town on six different roads,” DeMuro said in an email. “The roads and shoulders experienced embankment erosion and roadways surface damage. Proposed repairs include replacing lost gravel and field stone, clearing culverts, and replacing asphalt road surfaces.”
“Mitigation measures are currently being assessed to reduce future impacts from like disasters,” she added.
Ed McDonough, a spokesman for MEMA, said his department has discussed improvements with FEMA officials and Burkittsville officials. He added that only FEMA has done a site visit.
McDonough said that for municipalities to receive FEMA funding, MEMA officials need to ensure the proper paperwork and design specifications are done properly.
“They’re trying to get 75 percent federal funding for this, and the only way that can happen is if we shepherd the process,” McDonough said.
According to FEMA, areas that qualify under federal disaster relief can get up to 75% of the project through federal funds. The rest is through local, state and other monies.
Burgoyne said town officials need all the assistance they get can. With a town hovering around 150 people, they don’t have a full-time staff, so work on these projects is done as people have time, she added.
She thanked state officials for help with the plan.
“MEMA is helping with the mitigation .. and making sure it doesn’t get worse, and it’s not just a Band-Aid fix,” she said of the improvements.