Local citizens of Martin can become involved in advancing the Town of Martin project by exercising their rights as citizens and making their concerns for the project's completion known to local, state and national representatives through letters, phone calls and electronic media (email system). Attendance at important local and state meetings regarding the project would also show local concerns for the project's future and support for completion of the project.
Since its inception in March 2000 The Town of Martin Redevelopment Project has been funded through a partnership between the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Floyd County Fiscal Court with non-Federal financial assistance from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Corps of Engineers' Federal share of the project funds is provided through Congressional "Adds" to the annual Federal budget. Given all of the competing national needs and the finite amount of available Federal funds, securing adequate funds for the project has been a difficult task for those Congressional Interests that support the Martin project. What funds that have been provided recently have been used to move forward the design of project components that could be constructed when sufficient Federal funds are made available.
The designs for the replacement Fire Station, the replacement Martin Alternative Learning School and the replacement City Hall/Police Station are being developed by the Corps of Engineers and its consultants. Other design work for relocation of the main sewer line around the downtown area (the "Sanitary Bypass" necessitated by the anticipated filling of the downtown in Phase II) and the bypass potable water line are ongoing. When sufficient funds are made available for construction of these project components, they will be constructed at their planned locations within the project area.
Seasonal stream flooding and property damages due to flooding have been a way of life in eastern Kentucky since the area was settled in the late 1700's. Unfortunately, losses of life due to recurring floods are also an ongoing threat to the citizens of this region. Flash flooding usually associated with intense spring and summer storms still threatens several communities in Floyd County and especially the town of Martin, Kentucky. Records of regional flooding dating back to 1862 portray a rural countryside where living within the floodplain can be dangerous and costly. Since the 1862 flood, 36 additional damaging floods have been recorded in the Levisa Fork Basin.
The population of Martin has experienced the damaging effects of numerous historic floods to varying degrees, but the January 1957 flood was the first flood of record. Estimates of the flood damages in the town of Martin exceeded $5.0 million dollars. This flood of record was surpassed by the April 1977 flood event in terms of flooding depths and damages in Martin and the Levisa Fork valley. Flood depths exceeded 9 feet on Martin's main street during the April 1977 flood - a flood that exceeded the flood of record in 1957 and resulted in damages throughout the Levisa Fork valley exceeding $195.0 million.
As a result of the April 1977 flood, Congress enacted legislation entitled as Section 202 of the Energy and Water Resources Development Appropriations Act of 1981. That Act provided authority for the Corps of Engineers to develop, with local citizens input, innovative methods of flood damage reduction that would both reduce damages and potential threats to life as well as regenerate communities devastated by years of flooding. The Act directed the Corps to design and construct flood control measures that would protect lives and property from a recurrence of the April 1977 flood event in the Tug Fork and Levisa Forks of the Big Sandy River.
Subsequent flooding in the Big Sandy River sub-basin in May 1984 resulted in Congressional enactment of Public Law 98-332. That Act appropriated funding for implementation of nonstructural measures in the Tug Fork basin - nonstructural measures that have proven successful in reducing both flood damages and threats to human life. These nonstructural measures provided a foundation for formulation of the Town of Martin Redevelopment Plan that is described in the following pages.