POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - Any time the rain clouds gather in Randolph County, Black River Technical College officials make sure they watch the weather.
The two floods the college has experienced over the years have cost over $7.2 million in damages. FEMA relief and insurance covered the costs, minus a $100,000 deductible.
A plan is in the works to add a berm—or levee—around campus. The college says this addition will happen.
Vice President of Finance and Administration Rhonda Stone says BRTC has applied for a FEMA grant to help with this project.
The grant would cover 75 percent of the costs.
The campus’s previous flooding might increase their deductible. It may increase from $100,000 to $500,000. The college will hear if insurance will increase their deductible this summer.
Stone says it’s important for the college to be prepared and protected.
“We need to be fiscally responsible and protect the state’s assets, which these buildings are. If we’re not going to have insurance to help do so we’re going have to take measures into our own hands,” she says.
The college enacted a deferred maintenance fee this semester for students.
This costs $11 per credit hour. BRTC hopes the grant will take care of the berm.
In return, officials say they will work in keeping student’s fees going toward maintaining current buildings on campus.