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The Howard County Council will vote tonight on funding the controversial flood mitigation plan that would, among other efforts, remove 19 buildings in Ellicott City.

The council is considering three bills needed for a five-year flood control plan that would raze 19 buildings to expand a channel for the Tiber River and replace them with open space.

Two bills would shift $16.8 million from county’s contingency fund, technology infrastructure upgrades, improvements to the East Columbia Library Athletic Field and construction of a fire station on Route 1 to pay for the controversial plan. The third would allow the county to borrow $15,775,000 to pay for the plan.

The $50 million plan to demolish the structures requires approval from the county’s Historic Preservation Commission, a majority vote by the council and approval from the county executive.

Ten buildings on lower Main Street would be demolished to widen the channel for the Tiber River to slow the flow of floodwaters; two buildings from the middle of Main Street to widen the Hudson River bend; and seven residential buildings to expand a channel on the western side of the historic district.

The county anticipates between $20 million and $30 million in state and federal funding, according to Paul Milton, an aide to County Executive Allan Kittleman.

This article first appeared in the Howard County Times here.