$6.9 million granted by Texas GLO for historic disaster mitigation projects in Lee County
Funds to improve drainage infrastructure approved for the city of Lexington
AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Texas State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst and Mayor Allen Retzlaff announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved $6.9 million in flood mitigation projects to improve drainage infrastructure in the city of Lexington. These infrastructure projects will directly benefit residents in a predominantly low-to-moderate income (LMI) area that has faced repetitive storm damage in 2015, 2016 and in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.
“Texas leads the nation in repetitive flooding disasters with counties large and small needing help securing funding for mitigation projects to protect their residents and local economies,” said Commissioner Bush. “Unlike larger metropolitan areas, many of the communities receiving aid in this first round of mitigation grants have never had access to funding of this scale. These funds will go a long way in addressing the tremendous need for better flood mitigation and prevention in at-risk communities.”
“Several areas of Lexington have had to endure widespread flooding repeatedly as a result of more and more severe storms, and our drainage systems are in real need of upgrading,” said Lexington Mayor Allen Retzlaff. “This funding from Commissioner George P. Bush and the GLO will help us get the new and better storm sewers, culverts, and drainage ditches we need to protect our city, especially those who at greatest risk.”
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:
- 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 Lexington: Drainage Ditch and Culvert Improvements Project - $6,393,661.50
LMI Percentage: 57.31%
This project will improve the storm sewers, culverts, and drainage ditches in three areas within the city of Lexington. These areas have been impacted by widespread issues of flooding in larger storm events and will benefit from upgraded and improved downstream drainage infrastructure providing adequate conveyance of stormwater flows.
Large diameter pipe and box culverts are proposed on the downstream portions of drainage infrastructure for each area. Improvements will also include clearing debris within the Ordinary High-Water Mark (OHWM) of the creeks and regrading the creeks immediately downstream of major outfall locations.
- Regrade ditches on the north side of town near Business 77 (N. Rockdale Street) and the baseball fields
- Complete culvert improvements crossing Business 77 and within the park
- Clear and regrade an unnamed tributary of Shaw Branch to provide increased downstream drainage conveyance and depth for upstream storm sewer improvements.
- Improve box culvert near 3rd St. and Caldwell St. to 4th St. and Caldwell St
- Clear and regrade drainage ditch from south of McDade/Belton Street to Business 77 to provide increased downstream drainage conveyance and depth for upstream storm sewer improvements.
- Complete culvert improvements at Belton/McDade Street and Business 77
- Clear and regrade drainage ditch to provide increased downstream drainage conveyance and depth for upstream storm sewer improvements south of Avenue D at Shaw St.
- Improve culverts at Avenue D and Shaw Street
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