Victoria’s City Council on Tuesday will discuss the next steps toward using the grants the city received to help fund local Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.
The council will consider a resolution regarding two federal grants that were allocated to the city after Harvey: a $6 million grant for infrastructure projects and a $2.4 million grant for local buyouts in the city’s flood-prone neighborhoods.
This funding, allocated to the city last fall, comes from $5 billion the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designated to Texas after the storm. The money is distributed via HUD’s Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery and is being administered locally by the Texas General Land Office.
Assistant City Manager John Kaminski previously said the $6 million for infrastructure will largely be used to improve drainage in areas where floods are frequent, including installing and repairing floodgates along the Guadalupe River and installing a permanent pump station to pump stormwater over the levee and into the river when the floodgates are closed.
The buyout program will allow the city to buy homes in the city’s flood plains, then demolish the structures, leaving permanent open spaces.
The council’s next step is to submit grant applications, which GrantWorks Inc. is preparing. The deadline to submit grant applications is Aug. 30, but city spokesman O.C. Garza said the city will try to submit the applications as soon as possible.
A resolution to authorize submitting the completed applications will be presented at a future meeting.
Also, the council will discuss a resolution about the Citizen Participation Plan, which will include a variety of ways for residents to examine and comment on proposed projects.
The process for local governments and individuals to receive and use federal disaster funding is lengthy and bureaucratic, Garza said, but Tuesday’s meeting is a step forward.
The council is also expected to meet privately Tuesday to discuss potential economic development negotiations about a business prospect, according to the meeting agenda.