By now, I hope you've read the Victoria Advocate's latest in a series that explores how and why Victoria County circumvented standard business practices in spending Hurricane Harvey recovery money, particularly at the Victoria Regional Airport.
In a story Sunday, readers learned that:
- The contractor that worked on the airport, Virtus Group/Commercial Restoration Company, is from out of state and had no prior work history here.
- Despite that, the Texas Association of Counties recommended the contractor and it worked for two counties after Harvey besides Victoria County.
- One of the contractor's representatives went to the wedding of the county official. That county official submitted the contractor's invoices for payment, which totaled about $2.1 million.
- Victoria County Emergency Management Coordinator Rick McBrayer said he used the contractor's invoices on the airport work to demonstrate to Federal Emergency Management Agency that the county had met it's deductible with TAC and was therefore eligible for a 90% reimbursement of its deductible.
What's been unclear until today is how much FEMA money has been dispersed to the county and what projects it went to.
McBrayer sent the Advocate a spreadsheet he says answers those questions. It is below:
It shows that the county anticipates it will receive a total of $4.4 million from FEMA and that so far, it has received $3.8 million.
Of that, $62,496.97 went to projects at the airport. To break that down even further:
- $44,999.82 appears to be the 90% reimbursement the county sought for its insurance deductible from FEMA, which it said it met when remediating and repairing two airplane hangars and the airport control tower.
- $17,497.15 appears to have gone toward making a third airplane hangar more resilient to future storms.
We are still going through this document, but would love it if our readers could help. What stands out to you? What questions do you have? Comment below, call 361-574-1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!