Osceola County has been awarded $1.26 million from the State of Florida to update and expand the County’s surface water management plan, which is part of a program to assess and enhance the community’s resiliency for flooding.

“The County’s plan is essential to ensure that our future is protected. The funding will aid in further defining existing areas at risk and help to identify areas at future risk based on the county’s growth trends,” said Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington. “I’m confident this update will result in more informed decisions related to the betterment of the quality of life for Osceola County residents and visitors.”

The County’s surface water management plan was created in 2014. The grant will allow the County to update the plan and expand the study area from the Urban Growth Boundary to the entire County. Work will focus on flood protection and addressing the FEMA Seven Community Lifelines from a flood protection perspective. (The lifelines are: Safety and Security; Food, Water, Shelter; Health and Medical, Energy and Communications.)

Officials expect the project to take eight months to a year to complete once a consultant is selected. The County will hold an initial kick-off meeting and several meetings throughout the process, allowing for public input.

Osceola’s funding – 6.3 percent of the $20 million total — was the third-highest award among 37 grantees announced earlier this month through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida General Planning Support Program. Rebuild Florida allows communities and organizations to develop or enhance state, regional, or local plans which will enable the state to withstand future disasters using federal funding for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts.

While this was the first submittal for this project, the Public Works Department has recently received state and Federal grants for drainage improvement projects in Buenaventura Lakes, Kempfer Road, and Seven Dwarfs Lane.