Walton Elementary seeks emergency SBA funding - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Walton Elementary seeks emergency SBA funding

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An eroding bank near Walton Elementary School in Roane County forced the Roane County Board of Education to seek emergency funds from the School Building Authority.

Roane County is no stranger to flooding, and the Pocatalico River has started to erode its banks, endangering nearby Walton Elementary School. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has committed $620,000 toward the erosion mitigation project, and Roane County will provide $30,000 of the funding. Roane Superintendent Mickey Blackwell on Sept. 17 asked the SBA to provide $303,846 toward the project.

"It's a very serious need for us," Blackwell said of the project.

He said the Army Corps estimated it would cost $13.4 million to replace the school if flooding did occur.

"This investment is a sound financial investment," Blackwell told the SBA.

Roane County is one of 11 counties in the state that does not have an excess levee. That means the small, rural county pulled $30,000 of its own budget to help fund the project, which will include excavation, the removal of trees and environmental studies, among other aspects.

The school has not sustained any water damage thus far, but Blackwell said flooding issues in the county are common.

The SBA voted unanimously to provide the emergency funding. Blackwell said the Army Corps plans to start on the project by the end of this week or early next week and have the project completed by Jan. 1, 2013.

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