Salisbury Mayor, U.S. Senator discuss infrastructure priorities Monday
SALISBURY, Md.- Flooding is an issue Salisbury Mayor Jake Day said the city is trying to find solutions for. But, it’s going to take more funding to make the city’s ideas a reality.
“It’s not enough simply to say we are going to reduce the effects of climate change in the future, we’ve got to respond to the effects that are happening on our streets and in our buildings today,” Salisbury Mayor Jake Day, said.
On Monday, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Mayor Day took a stroll around flood-prone areas in Downtown Salisbury.
They discussed how funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help protect Maryland communities against flooding and other climate change-driven weather events.
“If you want to be able to transform this waterfront and meet the vision that the city has, you’ve got to deal, we’ve got to deal with flooding issues, and that’s expensive,” Senator Van Hollen said.
Mayor Day said areas near Fitzwater Street, near the Wicomico River, are especially prone to dangerous floodwaters.
“The majority of what we are dealing with today is nuisance flooding but at the point it becomes catastrophic, and let’s all acknowledge its getting worse, at the point, it becomes catastrophic we have lost businesses, we have lost families, they have chosen to move,” Mayor Day said.
The mayor also said the city has been trying to mitigate the flooding, but more help is needed.
He said the city knows what plans of action they want to put in place, the money just isn’t there.
“The tide gate, which is our immediate response, these are going to be tide gates that are inserted into the stormwater pipes which is how water gets onto the proprieties now or the streets now,” Mayor Day said. “The longer term piece is a 4.5 million dollar proposed park that will be a flood-able park all the way up the north prong.”
But now, with billions of dollars of federal funding on the table, Mayor Day is hopeful.
And, Senator Van Hollen is onboard with helping, he feels finding solutions is an urgent matter.
“We’ve got to do everything that we can to prevent it from getting worse because if you’re talking about future sea level rise at some point, there’s just no way to build your way out of it,” Senator Van Hollen said.