$14.8 million granted by Texas GLO for historic disaster mitigation projects in Wharton County
Funds to improve drainage infrastructure approved for the city of El Campo
AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Mayor Chris Barbee announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved $14.8 million in flood mitigation projects to improve drainage infrastructure in the city of El Campo. These infrastructure projects will directly benefit thousands of residents in a majority low-to-moderate income (LMI) area that has faced repetitive storm damage in 2015, 2016, and in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.
“While the GLO continues to rebuild homes and affordable rental properties lost to flooding disasters, we must ensure our communities are more protected in the future,” said Commissioner Bush. “There is tremendous need, especially in coastal communities like El Campo, for assistance to increase public safety, prevent property damage, and minimize hardship on Texans during hurricanes and other storms. The first round of mitigation funding the GLO is announcing today will go a long way in addressing that tremendous need in these majority lower income areas.”
“Many residents of El Campo have suffered property damage losses for decades due to flood water precipitated by hurricanes, tropical storms and just heavy and prolonged rainfall,” El Campo Mayor Chris Barbee said. “We’ve needed funding beyond local taxpayer means to make our community more resilient to these threats. Now, with this new influx of $14.8 million from Commissioner George P. Bush and the GLO, we can build better drainage and flood control systems along Tres Palacios Creek that will help protect our city, and especially our most vulnerable residents, from the potentially devastating impact of future storms.”
In May 2020, Commissioner George P. Bush announced the kick-off of the application process for the first round of more than $2.3 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to protect Texas communities hit by Hurricane Harvey and severe flooding in 2015 and 2016. During the first round, the GLO conducted three competitive application programs from the CDBG-MIT Action Plan. Those programs include:
- 2015 Floods State Mitigation Competition – GLO awarded $31,426,781 to four grantees.
- 2016 Floods State Mitigation Competition – GLO awarded 21 grantees with $135,462,438.
- Hurricane Harvey State Mitigation Competition Round 1 ($1 billion of $2,144,776,720 total).
Applications closed for the first round of funding October 28, 2020, and the GLO evaluated all 290 submitted applications in accordance with the HUD approved scoring criteria. Eligible applications with the highest scores were awarded funds. The second round of the competition will award the remaining $1,144,776,720 in mitigation funding to Hurricane Harvey eligible entities.
HUD defines mitigation as activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship, by lessening the impact of future disasters. HUD requires that at least 50% of total funds must be used for activities benefiting low- to moderate-income (LMI) persons.
The State of Texas CDBG Mitigation Action Plan: Building Stronger for a Resilient Future outlines the use of funds, programs, eligible applicants, and eligibility criteria as required by HUD. The plan was sent to HUD on February 3, 2020, after an extraordinary public outreach effort including a 50-day public comment period and eight regional public hearings, far-surpassing HUD requirements. HUD approved the plan March 31, 2020. For more information, please visit recovery.texas.gov/mitigation.
City of El Campo: Tres Palacios Creek Improvements Project - $14,840,316.83
LMI Percentage: 53.59%
The City of El Campo has suffered significant hardship for its residents and incurred substantial damage to residential and commercial property due to various declared disasters. This project will be the second phase of Tres Palacios Improvements. The first phase improved the channel downstream of US Highway 59, constructed a regional detention basin south of the city and was completed on March 9, 2020.
This project will add capacity to the main channel of the Tres Palacios Creek upstream of US Highway 59 from West Business 59S & Avenue I Street moving south along the Tres Palacios River to US Highway 59 & East Alfred Street. The proposed project will accomplish this by:
- Widening of the Tres Palacios Creek channel
- Adding concrete slope lining
- Adjusting forty (40) existing culverts
- Adding fifty-two (52) Backslope Drains
- Pinchot Bridge replacement
- Acquiring right-of-way
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