Victoria County is taking the next step toward receiving $3.5 million in grants to help with drainage and road improvement projects related to damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Victoria County commissioners Monday will consider approval of a resolution authorizing an application for the funding, which is allocated through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, as well as consider approval of a citizen participation plan.

Though the funds have already been allocated to the county, the county is required to submit an application because the projects have to meet certain requirements and be approved by the state.

A public notice period for the application began in late July. Following the public notice period, the application will be submitted to the Texas General Land Office for approval.

Also Monday, commissioners are scheduled to discuss insurance claims and expenditures for damages and repairs after Hurricane Harvey as well as the legal bidding process.

County Commissioner Gary Burns at the commissioners’ Aug. 5 meeting brought up ongoing concerns about how the county handled the bidding process after Harvey, referring to the fact that the county voted to exempt themselves from state bidding laws and contracted with the Virtus Group, a Kansas-based company now called Commercial Restoration Company, to do remediation and work at the airport, rather than put any of the work out for bid.

Burns, who previously said he thinks the emergency exemption the county used to circumvent bidding laws was “abused,” requested the discussion that is scheduled Monday. Zeller said he would see if the county’s attorney, Eric Magee of Allison, Bass and Magee, is available to join.

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, or on Twitter

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