Gov. Jared Polis congratulated Longmont on Wednesday for its ongoing work to recover from the September 2013 flood and its preparations to prevent or at least reduce destruction during future floods.

During an informal ceremony at the Longmont Museum, Polis said he and other Colorado state government officials “are thrilled to be here” to recognize the city’s efforts and continue the state’s partnership in working with Longmont to be ready “for whatever comes next.”

Wednesday’s event also marked Longmont’s celebration of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ decision to award the city an additional $1.2 million grant to spend on the Resilient St. Vrain flood-recovery, river corridor and greenway reconstruction project.

Mayor Brian Bagley said the latest $1.2 million grant is “very significant.”

The grant will take the city’s total awards of state-administered federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds for the Resilient St. Vrain project to $13.1 million, a total that Bagley said represents “a great example of state and local government working together” in the aftermath of catastrophes like the 2013 flood.

Longmont has made “great strides” in its stream channel, greenway and infrastructure repairs and its work to improve public safety and property protection during any such future flood events, “but we still have a long ways to go,” Bagley said.

Polis told the Longmont city staff, residents and several council members attending Wednesday’s event that “we are proud to stand with you” in ensuring that the St. Vrain River corridor project is completed.

“We’re Colorado strong,” Polis said, saying Wednesday’s event was a celebration of that resilience.

“It’s been a long haul” for people who lost homes, property, money and even friends in the 2013 floods, the governor said.

“There’s no way that we can ever bring that back. But what we can do is show we are Colorado strong (as) we move forward to build a more resilient Longmont, a more resilient northern Colorado than ever before,” Polis said.

Completion of the entire Resilient St. Vrain project, once it is finished, is now expected to cost at least $130.46 million, according to figures provided this week by the city staff. Funding thus far for the project has totaled about $80.46 million.

That has included: $35.8 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency and federal Housing and Urban Development money; $3.36 million in state funds; $7.98 million in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funds; $1.16 million in Great Outdoors Colorado and Colorado Conservation Trust funds, and $32.16 million in local Longmont funds — leaving about $50 million unfunded for the stretch of river corridor work eventually planned for the segment between South Sunset Street and Airport Road.

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