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Community support first step to secure Army Corps of Engineers for Chartiers Creek flood relief

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
US Congressman Tim Murphy is greeted by representatives of St. Clair Hospital as he arrives at a press conference to announce $487,000 in federal funding presented to the hospital for construction of it's emergency department at the hospital in Mount Lebanon on Monday, Jan. 14 2008. photo Brady Wolfe
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair

Leaders of communities in the Chartiers Creek watershed area met Nov. 5 to discuss steps to secure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' help to relieve persistent flooding.

Representatives from Bridgeville, Carnegie, Cecil, Oakdale and North Fayette met with Army Corps representatives and U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair.

Lenna Hawkins, deputy for programs and project management at the Corps' Pittsburgh district, said the first step is showing interest, by signing a letter requesting that the Corps study the problem.

“We take it as a sign we can spend taxpayer money and look at this,” she said.

Any work the Corps does will require a cost share with the municipalities — the Corps will cover 65 percent of the cost and the community is responsible for 35 percent. The total project cannot exceed $7 million, and the Corps' allocation is capped at around $5 million.

Hawkins said communities in the watershed can increase their chances of receiving help from the Corps by demonstrating valuable benefits versus costs — the benefits of flood prevention efforts need to outweigh the cost of the efforts.

She said protecting businesses and industrial properties is considered to be more beneficial than keeping farm or vacant land from flooding occasionally, for example.

More than a dozen communities are expected to sign the letter. Tributaries to Charters Creek affected by flooding are Campbells Run, McLaughlin Run and Robinson Run.

Bridgeville Manager Lori Collins said community leaders intend to reach out to Carnegie, Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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