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Northeast Nemaha County Long Term Recovery Group ends 2020 on positive note

Nebraska City News-Press

As 2020 came to a close, the Northeast Nemaha County Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) received positive updates on several infrastructure projects that are key to recovery for the region.

“I am pleased to report a contract was signed between the City of Peru and the Auburn Board of Public Works solidifying the plan to join the City to BPW’s water supply,” said David Pease, mayor of Peru. “This allows the engineering design and planning for construction to move forward.”

The City of Peru has also accepted an offer from FEMA to fund 75 percent of construction costs (no more than $5.2 million) related to building the water connection to Auburn.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency will provide 12.5 percent match and the City of Peru will provide the remaining 12.5 percent.

“With the funding from FEMA, the City is well situated to address the costs associated with the water treatment project,” said Pease.

“The City has already been awarded grant funding to cover part of our match and we have an opportunity to apply for additional funding through the state,” he said. “Our goal is to cover the City’s portion of the project through grants.”

Additional good news was shared by LTRG members Brett Adams and Sen. Julie Slama, who reported the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Trump in late December.

“We appreciate Brett Adams, Sen. Slama and Congressman Smith for their efforts to add language to WRDA, which will make the Peru levee eligible for Federal Funding and allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair the breached levee that has protected Peru since its construction in 1952,” said Dan Hanson, chair of the LTRG. “With the passage of this act, we hope to see movement and communication from the U.S. ACE regarding the Peru levee this year.”

The City of Peru also received notification they had been approved to receive funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

These funds will be used to purchase properties in the 100-year flood plain and turn the area into green space.  “We want to celebrate the movement on these flood-related projects,” said Deborah Solie, disaster recovery coordinator. “But, also remember the Peru community and surrounding areas suffered an estimated $7.91 million in economic loss, including $4.2 million in agricultural revenue losses due to levee damage. The LTRG’s goal is to emerge from recovery as a community stronger than before the floods.”

The LTRG, City of Peru and leaders throughout the community continue to work together as recovery continues for the region.

The Northeast Nemaha County LTRG brings constituents together to build relationships, coordinate efforts, communicate needs, and pursue funding to rebuild and strengthen the City of Peru and the surrounding region and support individuals following the 2019 floods and other potential disasters.