ASTI’s Client, the City of Allegan, has just been awarded a Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grant for nearly $4 million by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Grant will help fund an extensive project along the Kalamazoo River to stabilize an eroding streambank and prevent further erosion. Without intervention, continued river-related erosion may pose future concerns for Perrigo Company plc’s North American Headquarters, which sits atop a bluff along the River. The grant is the second largest award for hazard assistance ever granted in Michigan.
As the grant administrator, the City of Allegan will work with Perrigo’s team of engineers to remedy the risk that the eroding bluff presents. The proposed mitigation action will protect the toe of the bank and the upper slope from further erosion, reestablish a more stable grade, and stabilize soils with native vegetation.
ASTI’s role in securing the grant began when ASTI was contracted by Allegan County Emergency Management to update the County's Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). Without an up-to-date HMP, projects are ineligible for FEMA assistance. ASTI worked with City and County officials, the Michigan State Police, and FEMA to make sure that pro-active erosion control measures were included in the plan and eligible for future funding. When federal hazard mitigation funding was made available, ASTI swiftly developed the narrative and financial information necessary to submit the proposal, demonstrated the positive cost:benefit ratio for the project, and coordinated with the City, Perrigo and their consultants, and the MSP so that FEMA grant application deadlines were met.
Along the way, ASTI also filled in gaps for studies and reviews specific to the federal grant process. ASTI worked with the MDEQ for quick wetland permit issuance so that an archaeological study could proceed during the project public notice period. When a new federal directive eliminated the categorical exclusion for which the project initially qualified, ASTI oversaw development of a full Environmental