$5 million granted by Texas GLO for historic disaster mitigation project in Washington County

Funds to improve drainage infrastructure approved for the city of Brenham

Contact: Brittany Eck
(512) 463-5708
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PRESS RELEASE — May 21, 2021

AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Texas State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst and Mayor Milton Tate announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved $5 million in flood mitigation projects to improve drainage infrastructure in the city of Brenham. These infrastructure projects will directly benefit thousands of residents in a low-to-moderate income (LMI) area that faced repetitive storm damage in 2015, 2016, and in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.

“Brenham has been in need of drainage infrastructure improvements to handle excessive runoff during extreme weather events, but like many communities in close proximity to the Texas coast, local leaders have simply lacked access to funding for them,” said Commissioner Bush. “The GLO is proud to work with its partners in Washington County to fortify homes, businesses and critical infrastructure against future disasters.”

“Our residents of Brenham have endured real hardship resulting from repetitive flooding disasters resulting from storms that ravaged our city – and will continue to do so without improvements to our drainage systems and other infrastructure,” said Brenham Mayor Milton Tate. “This $5 million in mitigation funding from Commissioner George P. Bush and the GLO will help us with new sewers, culverts, and streambank stabilization measures that will reduce flooding hazards and better protect our community from future storms.” 

Texas State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) offered her support for the grant saying, “The damage done by floods and hurricanes in our area has been a major issue. That's why I commend Commissioner Bush for recognizing our local needs and allocating these funds. This goes a long way to solve real problems and is a great example of the federal, state and local governments working together."

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:

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 Brenham: Drainage and Flooding Hazards Mitigation Project - $5,001,643

LMI Percentage: 52.53%

The city of Brenham has suffered significant hardship for its residents and incurred substantial damage to residential and commercial property due to various declared disasters including the Floods of 2015 and 2016 and Hurricane Harvey (2017). Given the city of Brenham’s proximity to the coast, the city will continue to be susceptible to excessive localized flooding conditions during hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical depressions, and riverine flooding. During these periods of significant rain, excessive runoff into the creek does not flow unobstructed due to the combination of excessive vegetation, erosion, and channel restrictions.

To mitigate from future flooding losses, the city plans to conduct drainage improvement activities such as storm sewers, culverts, and streambank stabilization measures, that will each serve to reduce flooding hazards in the following areas of the city:

Spinn Street at Day Street: Install a new recessed curb inlet along with concrete box culverts.

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