Town councillors have agreed to foot an annual £18,000 bill for the maintenance of Horncastle’s long-awaited flood defence scheme.
Work on the multi-million pound project - which will feature a ‘holding lake’ built in the upper Bain Valley - is on course to start in March 2015.
It will offer vital protection to thousands of homes and businesses in the town.
Funding is being secured from several different bodies including the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council and the Witham Drainage Board.
Town councillors are backing the project and agreed at a meeting last week to cover the maintenance costs.
Coun Lynda Baker said the money was “peanuts” compared to the cost of damage caused by flooding.
Council chairman Fiona Martin said she had attended a recent meeting of the area’s flood action group.
She said the Environment Agency had confirmed negotiations with landowners for the preferred site of the defences had started.
She added that planning permission was scheduled for Christmas 2014 when would be ‘contractors ready to go.’
Coun Martin said all the agencies involved were hoping to attract a single company who would design and build the defences
She added: “The funding is almost there and the actual costs appears to be lower than initial predictions.
“Everything appears to be on course for March 2015 and I’m sure everyone hopes that will be the case.”
Coun Martin revealed the Environment Agency had suggested an alternative flood defence programme, actually located in the town centre.
However, she said that would involve major engineering work, including the construction of new brick walls and other defence features.
There was overwhelming backing for Coun Martin when she said the town council could not support engineering work in the “middle of town.”
Regarding the maintenance bill, Coun Baker said: “I know £18,000 sounds a lot of money, but it is peanuts to what it (the defence scheme) could do.”
Coun Maurice Lamb suggested the town council should contact developers behind large scale housing projects and ask for contributions to the flood defence scheme.
There are fears new housing estates could increase the risk of flooding - and add to the pressure on Horncastle’s existing drainage system.
He said: “If they (developers) get permission - God forbid they do - then the town should benefit.”
Planners can include Section 106 conditions in agreements which effectively compel developers, or builders, to pay set sums of money for improvements to local facilities.
However, Coun Lamb said he was concerned the developments in Horncastle would be completed, before any framework for Section 106 conditions was introduced.
Coun Lamb’s suggestion led to calls from other councillors for developers to contribute towards other improvements in the town.
Coun Bill Aron said that apart from drainage issues, he was concerned about the impact new homes would have on the town’s roads and schools.
Coun Aron suggested the town council should write to planners at ELDC, highlighting Horncastle’s position in regard to Section 106 funding.
Coun David Roark said: “If there is money available, then we should be grabbing it.”