By Casey Cook, Emergency Manager
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, informed the Matanuska-Susitna Borough that a grant the Borough applied for to purchase homes along the Matanuska River was denied. This grant would have allowed the Borough to purchase 16 homes within the immediate hazard areas and turn them into green space to mitigate flood losses and to protect lives when the Matanuska River floods in Butte and Sutton.
This is the third attempt at the grant. Borough had estimated and asked for $4,705,350 to accomplish the project. The Borough then would have met a 25 percent cost share, utilizing Matanuska River Management grant monies from a legislative grant to complete the acquisitions, remediation and closure of the project.
No reason was given by FEMA as to why the Borough did not receive the competitive grant funds, and Borough staff are investigating this currently, and are pursuing other grant opportunities with the State of Alaska and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Aerial image/Stefan Hinman, is of Matanuska River Aug. 2016. The river is eroding the riverbank and some homes are at risk for flooding.