By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – An estimated 70 houses of qualifying senior citizens will by year’s end receive a little more insurance against future floods like the one that washed through town in 2014.
The City Council during its regular meeting Jan. 20, approved a pilot program to install backwater valves courtesy of Community Block Grant Development funds provided by Wayne County Community Development.
City Administrator Bryce Kelley said the back-flow preventers offer the best odds against houses suffering flooded basements as had spread through the area in 2014.
“This is the most reliable form of technology available for residential use,” Kelley said. “They’re easily installed and maintained, and we’ll be able to offer them at no cost to qualifying homes of low-income seniors.”
Kelley said the city was awarded $250,000 for the project, which began after the most recent flooding incident, one of several during the past 20 years that have highlighted, “the age of the homes and infrastructure,” Kelley said.
The city has since taken steps to upgrade its water and sewer systems to better accommodate contemporary use.
The residential pilot program was approved by council last week, which awarded Perimeter, LLC, to install backflow valves in a projected 70 houses. Perimeter submitted a bid of $229,600 for the project, and costs include inspections by the Southgate Building Department.
Kelley said officials will this week begin contacting qualifying residents in the most heavily-impacted neighborhoods, and installations are expected to begin next month. All homes covered by the grant, he said, should be upgraded by September.
(James Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)