FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2019
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN — Today, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), at their regularly scheduled board meeting allocated $349,606.25 from the Flood Infrastructure Fund to McAllen to meet its local match requirement for the federal funds previously awarded under FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program.
In May 2018, FEMA had accepted McAllen's application for a federal grant of $1,048,818.75 for a drainage mitigation project. The federal grant provided through this assistance is funded through FEMA and then distributed by the TWDB. However, the grant program can require up to a 25 percent local match from the city in order to receive the federal funds. In some circumstances, cities are unable to provide the local match which results in federal dollars going unused or reallocated to other states.
This past session, the Texas Legislature passed several bills related to funding flood mitigation projects. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was instrumental in securing funding to help local communities plan for future flood events. Senator Hinojosa was a co-author of Senate Bill 500, which authorized a one-time transfer of $793 million from the "Rainy Day" Fund to the Flood Infrastructure Fund created under another bill co-authored by Senator Hinojosa, Senate Bill 7. Using the Flood Infrastructure Fund, the Legislature authorized the TWDB to use the funds to provide eligible political subdivisions with grants to satisfy the local match requirements in a federal program for flood projects. As a result of the action taken today by the TWDB, the City of McAllen and its taxpayers will not have the financial burden to meet its local match requirement to receive the federal funds previously approved by FEMA.
Senator Hinojosa released the following statement:
"I was proud to support the funding that allows the state to provide grants for our local governmental entities that will help cover the local match requirement for federal funding. The flooding events we have had the past few years show how vulnerable our communities remain to flooding. I commend the City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, the city commission, and their staff for applying for this federal grant for a drainage mitigation project, and am pleased the state is doing its part to eliminate the burden of the local match to provide flood control for our communities."