On Thursday the three Livingston County Commissioners began their role on helping the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) distribute $2.1 million to local landowners whose land suffered levee damages during the flooding last spring,
Presiding Commissioner Ed Douglas said that the county is working in cooperation with the NRCS to distribute the funds for 30 projects across the county. The damages were reported to the NRCS following public announcements and declaration of damages after waters receded following the near historic flooding in May of 2019.
“We are acting as an agent to choose the lowest sealed bids as presented to us by the landowner,” Douglas said.
Douglas said landowners, who have previously made a claim with the USDA can now schedule meetings with commissioners, where they must present two sealed bids with proof of insurance and workman's comp coverage. After reviewing the bids the commissioners will choose the lowest bid.
“This way the work can begin and hopefully, weather permitting, can allow it to be completed before spring planting begins,” Douglas said.
Spring planting usually occurs from April through early June.
Dennis Spreichinger, area engineer for the NRCS, said on the day landowners meet with commissioners they must be prepared to pay 25 percent of the bid amount or have arrangements in place to do in-kind work on the project.
“The landowner must have payment for their share of the bid on hand the day they get their bids approved,” he said.
Landowners who have reported levee damage to the NRCS should call the county commissioners office and schedule meetings with the commissioners.
Douglas stressed that landowners needed to schedule a meeting, which he expected would last about 15 minutes, bring two sealed bids, proof of liability insurance and workman's comp coverage and the funds to cover 25 % of the bid or be prepared to do in-kind work.
Spreichinger said the NRCS also used this program to help repair levees in the county following flooding in 1993 and 2008-2009.