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Press Release
September 17, 2020
Contact: (512) 463-0120

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved the prioritized project list for the 2020 Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) inaugural cycle and establishing the amount of funds available for applications, the structure of financing, and the terms of the subsidy. The action taken represents step two of the five-step process, which will eventually provide funding for future flood mitigation projects in Hidalgo County.

For the 2020 Abridged Application Prioritized Project List, TWDB approved 285 abridged applications requesting a total of $2,390,567,776. However, only applications from entities with projects ranked within the available funding. As of today, $770 million is available for projects, of which $231 million (30%) is allocated to grants and $539 million (70%) is allocated for loans. Among the 285 eligible applications that made the first cut, the 2020 Abridged Application Prioritized Project List includes 14 projects (listed below) within Hidalgo County.

As part of step three of the process, starting tomorrow the TWDB will begin inviting entities to submit complete financial assistance applications and Letters of Intent to Apply. Letters of Intent to Apply will be distributed to all applicants within the available funding as well as those below the line, which will form a waiting list should funds become available. Should funds become available due to invited entities declining to apply, invitations will be sent in ranked order down the prioritized list to applicants that met the TWDB’s Intent to Apply deadline. After complete applications are reviewed, TWDB will make a financial assistance recommendation to be considered by the Board in public meetings this upcoming Fall and Winter.

The 2019 Texas Legislature passed several bills related to flooding, including Senate Bill 7 which lead to creation of the FIF program. The new FIF program provides financial assistance in the form of loans with an interest rate of 0% and grants for flood control, flood mitigation, and drainage projects. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a co-author of Senate Bill 500, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was instrumental in securing funding to start the FIF program through a one-time transfer of $793 million from the "Rainy Day" Fund.

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"As the state continues to deal with ramifications of COVID-19, we cannot forget the flood disasters our state has dealt with in the past. I appreciate our local officials on completing the first step of the process by submitting their abridged applications earlier this summer. We must also move forward with investing in flood mitigation projects to prepare for future flood events. With today's action by the TWDB, the state takes another step towards mitigating the damage caused by future flood events. The Flood Infrastructure Fund Program was established for this purpose and I am glad to see the process is moving forward despite the current economic downturn."

Ranked Position Entity Name Project Name Amount Requested Eligible Grant % Eligible Grant Amount Eligible Loan Amount (or Entity's Funds)
31 Hidalgo County Drainage District #1 Phase 1 Flood Control Project $29,700,000 30% $8,910,000 $20,790,000
38 Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Flood Protection Planning $8,870,000 90% $7,983,000 $887,000
54 Pharr South Pharr Regional Detention Facility and Drainage Improvement $4,510,000 30% $1,353,000 $ 3,157,000
112 Alton North Stewart Blvd Drainage Improvements $8,500,000 35% $2,975,000 $5,525,000
114 Weslaco Kansas and Los Torritos Drainage Improvements to Mayor Pablo Pena Park - Phase 1 $3,002,627 65% $1,951,708 $1,050,919
119 La Villa Water Treatment Plant Relocation $8,939,000 44% $3,933,160 $5,005,840
140 Mercedes Storm Sewer and Drainage System GIS Mapping & Hydraulic Study $75,000 34% $25,500 $49,500
172 Weslaco Regional Detention Pond Project 2, Phase 1B $3,040,000 25% $760,000 $2,280,000
231 Mission Mission Drainage System $100 Million 23% $23,000,000 $77,000,000
236 Mercedes Collier Park Stormwater Pump Station $400,000 34% $136,000 $264,000
237 Mercedes FEMA Dome Stormwater Pump Station $500,000 34% $170,000 $330,000
238 Mercedes Union Pacific R.R. Regional Detention Facility $750,000 34% $255,000 $495,000
239 Weslaco Mayor Pablo Peña Regional Detention Facility $4,900,000 25% $1,225,000 $3,675,000
260 Mercedes Northeastern Stormwater Detention Facility $1,800,000 34% $612,000 $1,188,000
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa served as the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in the 84th Texas Legislature. Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Vice Chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development; Transportation; Agriculture, and Texas Ports.