(Seattle, WA) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded partnerships between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) three diking entities in Cowlitz County, whose levees protect HUD infrastructure. The partnership is needed to certify levees that protect home and business owners at a lower cost to rate payers. This partnership enables the Army Corps of Engineers to certify the levees, rather than the diking entities having to hire private contractors. It will also ensure that home and business owners are not forced to purchase costly flood insurance. If forced to use a private contractor, the three entities in Cowlitz County could have ended up paying approximately $3.5 million, whereas the partnership with HUD brings down the cost to approximately $500,000, saving the rate payers in the Kelso and Longview area $3 million.

“I’m proud to have worked with local diking entities and federal agencies to establish these cost-saving partnerships,” said Senator Murray. “In these tough economic times, ensuring home and business owners are protected from floods and the need to purchase expensive insurance plans is a top priority.”

 “The City of Longview is extremely appreciative of the collaboration that has taken place to achieve this federal partnership. This is an excellent example of how federal and local governments can work together to provide efficiencies and cost savings to our citizens and taxpayers and Senator Murray’s support to ensure this partnership was achieved is appreciated,” said Bob Gregory, Longview City Manager.