Commissioner Dawn Buckingham announces more than $68 million in Regional Mitigation Program projects for Deep East Texas
Historic funds for street improvements, community resource centers, broadband and interoperable radio communications infrastructure
Austin — Today Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, M.D., announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved $68,042,000 in regional mitigation funds for six federally eligible infrastructure projects including more than $42 million for broadband and interoperable radio communications infrastructure to be administered by the Deep East Texas Council of Government (DETCOG). Through the Regional Mitigation Program, the GLO enabled local prioritization, which will have a tremendous impact across multiple regions.
“The General Land Office is helping to empower communities to move forward projects that will protect the homes and businesses of those who live there,” Commissioner Buckingham said. “Locally led prioritization of mitigation projects is important because it strengthens critical infrastructure and protects communities against the impacts of natural disasters. I am proud of the work being done at the Texas General Land Office to not only help those in need, but to support our communities as they grow.”
Funding for broadband internet infrastructure has been a priority in Deep East Texas for more than a decade. Inadequate communications infrastructure hinders mitigation, preparation, and recovery efforts. Businesses, local governments, and other organizations which are critical to disaster recovery cannot function efficiently without internet connectivity. Without broadband and adequate radio communications, residents are isolated during and after a disaster.
“It’s a great day for Deep East Texas,” said Lonnie Hunt, Executive Director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments & Economic Development District. “Broadband is a basic building block of the future and the lack of it negatively impacts every aspect of our life in Deep East Texas, from public safety to economic development and job creation to education and healthcare. The funding awarded to DETCOG from the Texas General Land Office for regional projects to improve broadband and interoperable radio communications will lead to a safer and brighter future for our citizens."
Texas GLO Regional Mitigation Program Council of Government Method of Distribution (COG MOD):
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) allocated $1,166,997,000 in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Regional Mitigation Program to reduce the risks and impacts of future natural disasters. Each Council of Government (COG) with HUD-designated eligible counties developed a method of distribution (MOD) for allocation of funds to units of local governments. Each COG developed their MOD through extensive public participation.
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. For more information, please visit recovery.texas.gov/mitigation.
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