Property owners in the FEMA floodplain whose dwelling can be modified to reduce or prevent future flood damages may be eligible. Qualified property owners receive technical assistance throughout the grant application process. Complete statutory eligibility requirements are available.
Qualified applicants will receive professional technical assistance throughout the grant application process. The RetroFIT Program consists of three phases – the Application Phase, Review and Assistance Phase, and Approval and Implementation Phase.
As part of the Application Phase, and throughout the year, CMSWS will reach out to floodplain property owners to increase awareness about the program. Property owners will be able to choose the floodproofing improvement(s) they hope to make as part of an Owner Interest Application. CMSWS will offer assistance to owners if they need help determining which of the flood damage reduction techniques would be effective in reducing future damage.
The Review and Assistance Phase will allow CMSWS to provide owners technical assistance and determine if the proposed project is viable. CMSWS will also determine whether improving the storm water system is not practically feasible or cost effective, and the improvements to private property are the minimum necessary to accomplish the storm water benefit. After CMSWS works with the owner and determines the project is viable, the owner will be required to submit formal Grant Application.
The Approval and Implementation Phase will include the selection of projects for funding, approval by the Storm Water Advisory Committee, and the execution of a contract between the owner and the County allowing the mitigation project to be successfully implemented by the property owner.
Types of Projects Funded
Structure Elevation consists of physically raising the lowest finished floor of an existing structure to an elevation above the Flood Protection Elevation (FPE). Elevation may be achieved by a variety of methods including piles, posts, and columns, or elevating on fill. The new structure must be fully compliant with floodplain regulations and building codes: foundations must be designed to properly withstand all loads; the elevated structure must be properly anchored to the foundation; and utilities must be elevated above the FPE.
Structure Relocation involves moving a structure to a location outside the floodplain. The property remains in private ownership. The structure owner bears the cost of acquiring a new parcel for the structure. The grant would fund the structure relocation costs.
Wet Floodproofing involves modifying of a structure to allow exposure to flood water without the structure experiencing significant damage. For example, a crawl space would be vented to allow water to enter and exit thus preventing excessive hydrostatic pressure. Fiberglass insulation and other unsuitable materials are replaced with flood resistant varieties. Wet floodproofing may be combine with equipment elevation (see below) to provide more complete protection.
Dry Floodproofing involves making an area watertight to prevent floodwater from entering the structure. The walls must be made watertight with waterproof coatings, impermeable membranes, and/or supplemental layers of concrete or masonry. Any windows, doors, or other openings must be equipped with permanent or removable shields. Water and sewer lines must be equipped with backflow preventer valves. All mechanical and electrical equipment must be flood protected either by a floodproofing enclosure or by elevating. Dry flooding is not an acceptable technique for residential structures.
Equipment Elevation Protecting service equipment involves elevating, relocating, or protecting in place. Service equipment installed outside the structure or in a full height basement can be raised on pedestals or platforms. Service equipment located in a basement, crawlspace, or other area below the flood level can be relocated to an upper floor, attic, or higher ground. If elevating and relocation are not possible, protecting service equipment in place may be done with low floodwalls and shields, and anchors and tie downs for aboveground and underground storage tanks.
Abandon Basement Abandoning finished living space in a walkout basement and filling involves raising the lowest finished floor of an existing structure by converting the finished basement to crawlspace. This may be achieved by abandoning the basement and filling to create a crawlspace. Fill would be needed around the exterior perimeter of the foundation. The structure must be modified to allow filling in the basement.
Demolition (including partial) Structure demolition involves razing a flood-prone structure. The retroFIT program will fund demolition of the building and the removal and proper disposal of the debris from the property.