Batesville residents who live along the Sand Creek Ditch will soon have to worry less about their yards washing away.
City engineer Warner McBride said the city leaders had been anxious to get this project done for a number of years, but the funds were not available.
"The mayor and board wanted to see this project done to stabilize the erosion along the Sand Creek Ditch," he said.
McBride said several areas along the ditch were experiencing some serious erosion, and, when it was learned that there might be money available during this grant cycle, the city moved quickly in an attempt to get the $378,000 matching grant.
"It’s pretty common for cities to run into problems finding funding for projects sometimes," he said. "But the city kept looking for ways to get this project done, and it finally all came together."
When the engineers found out about the money, the firm photographed the area to justify the project, he explained.
Mayor Bobby Baker said the city is very excited to finally be able to get this project moving.
"This will really help control the erosion of the sand ditch," he said. "It has been getting wider and wider over the years, and this project will help put a stop to that."
"The money is coming to the city from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)," McBride said.
The city is matching the grant with "in kind" contributions of labor and materials, McBride said.
Baker said employees in the street department will be assisting with the labor on the project.
"We think with Street Superintendent Teddy Austin and his crew doing the work, it will be done properly and with less cost to the city," he said.
The mayor said the city will use a track hoe they got on a bid price to help with the work.
"We have the people and the equipment to take care of this project in-house without having to go out for bids from contractors," he said.
Work will be done in the hardest hit areas, McBride said, explaining that areas near J.P. Hudson Park, Pebble Creek subdivision and behind Batesville Intermediate School were the areas most effected by the erosion.
McBride said work on the project will begin in early March and should take two to three months to complete.
"Basically what is going to happen is the city will go in, clean the area, move and replace any dirt that might be needed," he said.
To keep the dirt from washing again, work crews will put down filter cloth to hold it in place and then the rock and grass will be put into place, McBride explained.
"We are really excited about this project and feel like it will be a big help to a lot of the residents of Batesville," he said.