The Cites of Brookings and Reedsport are partnering with the State of Oregon in submitting a proposal to fund and new program known as the Rural Resilience Oregon Incubator.
Responding to state, local and tribal leaders who are working to increase the safety and security of their communities, the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) invited communities that have experienced natural disasters to compete for funds to help them rebuild and increase their resilience to future disasters.
The competition will support innovative resilience projects at the local level while encouraging communities to adopt policy changes and activities that plan for the impacts of extreme weather and climate change and rebuild affected areas to be better prepared for the future.
Oregon has been selected as a finalist and will join 14 municipal and 26 state governments to compete for part of nearly $1 billion in available funds in the last phase of the competition.
As part of the State of Oregon’s NDRC phase 2 application, the Governor’s Office is proposing to establish the Rural Resilience Oregon Incubator (ROI aka return on investment), which is an innovative framework to build economic, social and hazard resilience in rural communities across the state.
The Rural ROI would be led by the State Resilience Office and work closely with Regional Solutions, both in the Governor's Office, and be a shared responsibility by many partners within the state.
The State is rolling out the Rural ROI effort in coastal Brookings and Reedsport -- and will capture resilience activities within a "knowledge bank", which will then be used by the State Resilience Office, Regional Solutions and others to promote resilience in other rural communities.
As part of the process, best science and community engagement practices will be integrated. For each community, baseline resilience performance metrics and tracking of progress will be included, some involving universities, government, private and non-profit partners.
Although the Rural ROI vision is multidimensional, the focus is on improving 1) life safety and property protection from future disasters, 2) social cohesion within the immediate community and broader region, 3) sustainable economic development or, if needed, revitalization, and 4) preparedness to impacts of multiple hazards, including flood, earthquake, tsunami, drought and future climate.
Immediate goals are to improve the security of water supplies and medical services, and community-level transportation connectivity during disasters. This will include improved housing for vulnerable populations as well as improving the quality of life for all citizens.
The State’s Phase 2 application may propose projects involving water, waste water, and electrical systems, multi-modal transportation, flood and other hazard protection, affordable housing and medical services.
Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman serves on the State NDRC Phase 2 team and invites public comment as the team develops its final proposal over the next several months. Specific activities proposed for Brookings include:
• Water system improvements, including increasing the City’s current water storage capacity from three days of supply to 40 days of supply.• An intertie between the Brookings and Harbor water systems to provide safe drinking water and adequate fire flow in the event of saltwater intrusion or other interruption of sources of supply.• Establishing a electric service “critical facilities grid” that would be undergrounded to service key public facilities, such as police and fire stations, as well as major employers.• Developing low and moderate income housing.• Assisting in funding improvements to the Curry Health Network clinic in Brookings, including emergency room, dialysis, infusion therapy and other diagnostic services.• Repairs to public facilities damaged in the 2011 tsunami and the January 2012 storm disasters.• Seismic retrofit of the Chetco River Bridge.
Milliman said he will be conducting a series of community forums on the program. “We would like to hear from the public about these or other proposals that would make our community more resilient to disaster events, and more economically resilient.”
Phase 2 Application and other NDRC program information is available in the NewsFlash and under NDRC in the Archive Center on the City’s website, www.brookings.or.us, and on the City’s facebook page which is accessible from the website homepage. Comments are welcome via email to email@example.com and on facebook.
The State will hold a public meeting in early October in conjunction with the cities of Brookings and Reedsport.