$36 million granted by Texas GLO for historic disaster mitigation projects in Caldwell County
Funds to improve roads, wastewater, sewer, drainage and emergency shelter infrastructure approved for Caldwell County, Cities of Martindale and Uhland
AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and County Judge Hoppy Haden announce the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved $36 million in flood mitigation projects to improve roads, wastewater, sewer, drainage, and emergency shelter infrastructure in Caldwell County and the cities of Martindale and Uhland. These infrastructure projects will directly benefit nearly 40,000 residents in a vastly low-to-moderate income (LMI) area that has faced repetitive storm damage in 2015, 2016, and in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.
“In recent years Texas has led the nation in disaster declarations,” said Commissioner Bush. “While we recover from previous storms, we must look ahead to preventing future damage. The historic funding we’re announcing today will go directly to projects that will help fortify Texas homes, businesses and critical infrastructure to protect Caldwell County from future disasters for generations to come.
“During Hurricane Harvey, many of our residents were displaced and even rendered homeless due to the lack of a shelter in the area,” said Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden. “This allocation of $36 million will help us build a new evacuation shelter to provide safe haven for our residents and, when necessary, for evacuees from other areas. These funds will also help improve drainage systems that will prevent the frequent flooding that has plagued our county during major storms for years. This funding could not have come at a better time and we sincerely thank the GLO for helping Caldwell County protect its residents from future harm.”
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.
Caldwell County: Emergency Shelter Project - $17,460,036
LMI Percentage: 60.48%
During Hurricane Harvey and prior flood events, due to the lack of a shelter and limited hotel capacity in the area, significant numbers of Caldwell County residents were displaced outside of Caldwell County and, in some cases, rendered homeless. With the construction of the Caldwell County Evacuation Shelter the county will be able to provide safe haven to its own residents and, when necessary, to evacuees from outside of the county. The building will be equipped with adequate water, sewer, and broadband services.
This facility will 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. When not being used as an evacuation shelter, the county proposes to use the facility as a community center to subsidize normal operating expenses.
This project will acquire real property and build an emergency shelter in the city of Lockhart that will host up to 350 evacuees.
City of Martindale - NW River Road Flood Control Improvements - $6,678,027.21
LMI Percentage: 72.01%
The proposed improvements will provide localized flood relief by installing better street sections for storm water conveyance along with storm sewer improvements for greater conveyance capacity. The city has previously completed a sewer line project along the roadway. This project will enhance sewer line infrastructure improvement by moving floodwaters away from the area faster, so they are less likely to inundate the sewer pond system.
The project site consists of NW River Road (from Lockhart Street to Quail Run Road) in Martindale, Texas. NW River Road runs parallel to the San Marcos River and is an important thoroughfare in Martindale. This road serves as an East-West thoroughfare for the city, which provides citywide circulation and access. The project will replace existing culverts with larger structures and install storm sewers.
City of Uhland: Flood Control & Drainage Improvements - $11,851,660.80
LMI Percentage: 68.31%
Risks due to flooding are overwhelming established drainage routes. Water depths rise during large rain events and inundate adjacent properties and roadways. During flash flood events the creek floods, damaging structures and infrastructure, causing severe erosion, and creating ingress/egress issues throughout the community for vehicular travel and emergency personnel. The entire downtown of Uhland floods frequently when a tributary to this creek leaves its banks and covers the roadway with rushing water.
The project will include construction of a detention pond and the implementation of multiple channel improvements designed to increase the capacity of drainage routes and reduce flooding.
- Construct a detention pond (Pond A) located northwest and adjacent to SH 21 (Camino Real), between Poco Loco Supermercado and St. John Lutheran Church
Old Spanish Trail Bridge
Construct a new bridge for Old Spanish Trail over Plum Creek and remove existing box culverts.
- Widen the channel upstream and downstream of Old Spanish Trail at the proposed bridge
- Clean and clear the channels of trees, brush, and debris.
East Drainage/Seeliger Drive
- Implement channel improvements to connect the discharge point of the existing TxDOT culvert located approximately 750 feet northeast of Short Street at its intersection with SH 21, to Plum Creek
- Lower the elevation and repave Seeliger Drive
Middle Drainage Channel
- Implement channel improvements between SH 21 and Old Spanish Trail to increase the drainage capacity between these two roadways
- Clean and clear the channels of trees, brush, and debris. Past Old Spanish Trail toward the southwest, the existing channel that connects to Plum Creek will also be improved.
Summer Sun Cove/Channel
- Implement channel improvements.
- Install new box culverts across Cotton Gin Road, and the channel improvements will continue to the southwest to connect to Plum Creek.
- Implement roadside drainage improvements southwest of the proposed Pond A including a larger driveway culvert for Poco Loco Supermercado, enhance roadside drainage swale, a larger culvert at Cotton Gin Road with outfall into Plum Creek along the north side of SH 21
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