Flood protection study engineer approved

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Drakes Branch Town Council unanimously approved to authorize Mayor Denise Pridgen to execute an agreement for engineer for flood protection study, as per Commonwealth Regional Council’s (CRC) recommendation, at a recent meeting of the town council.

Denise Pridgen

“I was glad that the town approved that, it will be good for the town,” said Pridgen.

According to CRC’s Executive Director Melody Foster, A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. (AMT) has been chosen as the engineering firm to execute the flood protection study.

“We are an engineering firm that focuses our considerable energy on the built environment. From environmental and feasibility assessments to surveying through to construction engineering, inspection and management and landscape architecture, we have the expertise to address all aspects of your project lifestyle,” said AMT’s website.

Foster said AMT is also the same engineering firm working on the sidewalk projects in Charlotte Court House on Evergreen Road.

By conducting the study, Foster said the town is hoping to find out which properties are flooding and the mitigation plans that may combat this.

Foster previously said the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) would be providing about $50,000 to assist with the study.

She said while the cost will run over that price a little, the town will take on the additional costs associated with the study for a total project budget of $51,800.

She said the money to help fund the project was set aside by the state for the Town of Drakes Branch.

As a priority, Foster said the town is hoping to find out what needs to be done in the municipal building in Drakes Branch.

“Every time we go down there, they’ve actually marked the floor, and the first time we went down there-and this is just one example-there’s a crack in the floor about this big now, it’s this big,” said Foster previously, noting a sizeable increase at a previous CRC meeting. “The walls have crack in it; you can visibly see it pulling away.”

In addition, she previously noted that the building is susceptible to frequent flooding.

After the study is conducted, Foster said the town will be able to go back to focusing on their downtown revitalization project.

In June, a two-day visioning session was held to facilitate conversation regarding the future of downtown revitalization in the town.

During that time, Councilman Roscoe Eubanks said, “the storefronts here in Drakes Branch and the properties on the Main Street are very antiquated. If we get a grant to upgrade the storefronts and properties here in town, that would make them attractive to new businesses.”

Eubanks also serves on the grant committee for the town.

However, the project was placed on hold pending the flood protection study.

Currently, there is no new information regarding grants for the town, according to town officials at a recent meeting.