ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today broke ground on the Quaker Mill Flood Mitigation Pond, a critical Ellicott City Safe and Sound project. Once complete, this project will provide approximately 10-acre-feet of storage, which is the equivalent of nearly 3.3 million gallons of water. The Quaker Mill Pond is the second retention and conveyance project slated to mitigate flooding that is now underway, four other projects are in the design phase. Construction on Quaker Mill Pond is anticipated to take approximately 15 months, weather dependent. Photos of the event can be found here.
Our goal since adopting the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan in December 2018 has been to keep our residents and visitors safe, reduce the amount and velocity of flood water in Historic Ellicott City, and preserve the historic nature of our town. The Quaker Mill Pond our second retention and conveyance project this year alone which will help mitigate flooding under our Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan and will reduce peak flow rates from the site for the 100-year storm by approximately 30 percent.
Of the estimated $2.8 million in project costs, $2.1 million in State funding will be provided to support this project through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Comprehensive Flood Mitigation Grant Program. The State Board of Public Works (BPW) unanimously approved the MDE grant to support this project at the October 20th BPW meeting. This project will expand and improve the existing Quaker Mill Flood Mitigation Pond located at the intersection of Rogers Ave. and Patapsco River Rd.
"Ellicott City is a uniquely resilient town, and this retention pond is not your average infrastructure project," said Senator Katie Fry Hester. "I'm thankful for my state and local partners who helped us to secure $18M in financing to make this groundbreaking possible. As part of the EC Safe and Sound Plan, we will ensure that Ellicott City is a national model for climate resilience."
“This pond will further protect Ellicott City from flooding caused by intense weather events,” said Delegate Courtney Watson. “I thank my colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly who backed our request for state funding not only for this project but for several others.”
“In breaking ground today for the second project towards the protection of the town, it is showing the continual progress in measures being taken to preserve the heritage and economy of Old Ellicott City,” said Chris Pineda, Executive Director of the Ellicott City Partnership. “As we move in a positive direction, we can continue to relay the outputs of the mitigation plans and continue to say Old Ellicott City is open for business – so come and enjoy it.”
The Ball Administration has secured nearly $60 million in total funding for the Safe and Sound Plan and related flood mitigation projects in Ellicott City, with almost $30 million coming from County funding sources. The Howard County State Delegation has provided more than $20 million for Ellicott City projects, including over $2 million for the Quaker Mill Flood Mitigation Pond.
In August, Ball was joined by Governor Hogan to break ground on the first Safe and Sound project, the H-7 Dry Flood Mitigation Pond. The H-7 Pond will reduce the amount of water that runs off the site by more than 30 percent in a 100-year storm, keeping more water from flowing to Historic Ellicott City during a severe weather event.
In September, the County began the design process for the extended North Tunnel project, the single most impactful project in the Safe and Sound plan. The 5,000-foot tunnel is expected to begin in the West End of Main Street and run underground to the Patapsco River.
In October, the County filed its application for an up to $75 million low-interest loan from the Environmental Protection Agency. Howard County is just one of 55 organizations nationally that were selected by the EPA to apply for a loan. If awarded, the loan from the EPA will provide critical funding for the North Tunnel and other vital Ellicott City flood mitigation projects.
The County also recently received approval from the Historic Preservation Commission for the renovation of six county-owned buildings on Main Street. These renovations include removal of the rear portions of these 6 buildings, easing constrictions above the stream channel in Ellicott City. It is expected this renovation work will begin early next year.