Davids Tours Upper Turkey Creek Following House Passage of Funding for Levee Project

August 2, 2021
Press Release
Davids-requested federal funding would begin removal of Downtown Merriam from floodplain

MERRIAM, KS – Today, Representative Sharice Davids joined local officials to tour Upper Turkey Creek and celebrate the advancement of Davids’ request for federal funding of the Upper Turkey Creek levee project. On Thursday, the U.S. House passed legislation directing $500,000 to the project, which would eventually lead to the removal of Downtown Merriam from the FEMA-designated floodplain.

 

The Weather Channel has ranked Kansas City the 5th most vulnerable U.S. city to the effects of climate change, particularly flooding. If passed by the Senate, Davids-requested funding for the levee project would impact hundreds of homes and over 80 businesses in Merriam. It has been a longtime priority for the community, as the risk of flooding has become a significant barrier to economic development and safety in the area. Davids, in partnership with local governments, submitted a request for federal funding to the Upper Turkey Creek levee project and successfully secured the maximum amount for this early stage of design.

Sharice Davids standing outdoors with group of local leaders

“I am proud to announce that federal funding for the Upper Turkey Creek levee project has advanced through the House, because I know how much of an impact it would have for the people of Merriam,” said Davids. “For the homeowners who deal with consistent flooding and the businesses who worry about its impact on their future, this is vital. If passed by the Senate, the funding for this project would not only improve safety, but bring significant economic development and permanent employment to our area.”

 

“We appreciate Rep. Davids support for this project and believe it’s funding will provide the shot in the arm needed to get the project off the ground,” said Merriam Mayor Ken Sissom. “The completion of this project would protect considerable investment and also allow the City and its businesses to redevelop downtown which will greatly improve the economic and community benefits in Merriam and in Johnson County as a whole.”

 

“We are very excited about the collaboration of Rep. Davids and the City of Merriam on the funding request for the Upper Turkey Creek Levee Project,” said Deb Settle, President and CEO of the North East Johnson County Chamber of Commerce. “This project is very important to our current businesses and is also an important component of attracting new businesses to the area, in turn creating countless new jobs – which is what we at the NEJC Chamber strive to do on a daily basis.”

 

“Construction of the Upper Turkey Creek project will reduce flood risk significantly, helping to bring peace of mind to business and homeowners in the area,” said Tom Poer, Past President of Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC). “We’re excited to see attention on this project and grateful to Rep. Davids for moving it along—now, I’m hopeful that we’ll get this funding across the finish line.”

Sharice Davids with group on outdoor path

The funding was included as part of H.R. 4502, a package of seven appropriations bills covering a variety of areas of government. Along with funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin design on the Upper Turkey Creek levee, the House passed seven other Davids-sponsored projects, including $1 million for The University of Kansas Cancer Center to purchase a cutting-edge cancer imaging machine, and $4.8 million for WaterOne in Lenexa to purchase a backup generator and improve emergency preparedness. Each of these projects would improve health and safety in the community, tackle climate change, and bring economic opportunity to the Third District.

 

See a full list of the $15 million in KS-03 community projects passed by the House and advanced to the Senate here.