FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2017
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AUSTIN, TX - Today, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved $4.5 million in funding for Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 to finance costs of a multi-phase drainage project known as the Raymondville Drain Project for Flood Control.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was instrumental in authoring and securing a budget rider last session (2015) for this funding. Rider 27 in the TWDB bill pattern of the state budget directs the TWDB to allocate unspent funds for water projects from the previous fiscal year to the Raymondville Drain project.
Last biennium, the TWDB allocated $5.6 million for the Raymondville Drain as a result of the same budget rider. Also, this past spring, TCEQ announced a $7 million grant for the Raymondville Drain from the Texas RESTORE Act grants made possible through the efforts of Hidalgo County Drainage District No.1 and Senator Hinojosa.
"The 4.5 million in funding is critical for the Raymondville Drain Flood Control Project to provide a permanent solution to regional flooding as well as economic and environmental benefits to not only the Rio Grande Valley, but all of South Texas. Over the last few years, we have worked tirelessly to identify and secure sources of available funds that would not burden our taxpayers or Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1," stated Senator Hinojosa.
"The Raymondville Drain project is a huge undertaking that will provide storm water management to our entire region and will continue the economic growth of our communities. To date, we have secured $17.1 million in funding for the Raymondville Drain and I am proud of our efforts to provide tremendous flood control for our communities that will also produce economic growth and environmental sustainability."
There is significant public and governmental support for this project as it will allow for the future economic growth of our cities and communities by decreasing detrimental flooding events. Willacy County, Delta Lake Irrigation District, and Hidalgo County are partners on the project, while Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1, as the lead sponsor, has already provided millions of dollars for planning, design, permitting and land acquisitions. In addition, the citizens of Hidalgo County have voted multiple times to tax themselves through the sale of bonds to fund this project, which has been ranked as the number 1 priority large flood control project in the Lower RGV.