Frederick will receive a $1.5 million federal grant to make repairs to a pump station that will help control flooding in the city.
The grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was announced Tuesday.
The money will go to repairs to the city’s stormwater Pump Station No. 3, a key part of Frederick’s stormwater management system that moves water from densely-built parts of the city to a man-made stormwater retention pond, according to a release from Congressman David Trone’s office, who announced the grant along with Sens. Ben Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D).
The work will include a new building over the station to house the motors, electrical gear, controls and the existing generator.
Frederick has a longtime problem with flooding, and Trone said Tuesday he was delighted to see FEMA step in.
Frederick’s revitalization goes back to the Carroll Creek Linear Park project that helped control flooding downtown. The project was conceived under the leadership of state Sen. Ron Young (D) when he was the city’s mayor, Trone said.
A recent cost-benefit analysis showed that the failure of Pump Station No. 3 would threaten to cause almost $2.2 million in property damage and could damage 13 properties with a value of $8.7 million, according to the release.
The pump station was damaged by flooding in 2018, which caused damage throughout the city.
The new building will move the controls above grade to prevent more damage, said Zack Kershner, director of public works for the city.
Design for the project is about 90 percent done, and the city should be able to put it out for bid by the beginning of the summer, he said.
In the release, Sen. Cardin said that with the damage that recurrent flooding has caused to city businesses, homes and residents, strengthening the city’s resilience to the impacts of climate change is needed to safeguard the city’s residents and communities.
Van Hollen said strengthening the city’s stormwater management system would help to protect homes and businesses from flooding, while also creating local jobs.
Mayor Michael O’Connor thanked FEMA and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency for collaborating to help protect the Frederick community.
Stormwater management improvements are even more important as climate change brings more intense weather events, he said.
The city is also considering millions of dollars worth of improvements in a plan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would help prevent flooding.
While the projects aren’t related, they’ll both help decrease the risk of flooding, Kershner said.
The Army Corps’ plan would reduce flooding at four key points around the city, with a separate proposal coming for the downtown area.
The areas that were studied include Motter Avenue, Kline Avenue, Detrick Branch at North Market Street near Rosehill Manor and a tributary to Carroll Creek at West Patrick Street, near Frederick middle and high schools.