FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2020
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Yesterday, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved the first ever projects funded through the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) for the inaugural 2020 cycle. The Nueces County Drainage and Conservation District No. 2 ("District") was among the entities selected to receive funds for flood early warning systems.
The District submitted a complete financial assistance application and is now eligible to receive $465,500 in grant funding for a portion of the project costs. The remaining project cost will be provided through the District's funds. This project proposes to install 12-15 Flood Early Warning System Stations in locations known to have repeated flooding and directly impact public health and safety. In total, TWDB approved $1,185,079 in FIF grant funding for the five entities selected.
The 2019 Texas Legislature passed several bills related to flooding, including Senate Bill 7 which lead to the 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 the leadership of the Board of Commissioners of the Nueces County Drainage District No. 2 for taking advantage of the Flood Infrastructure Fund program and for their work to submit a complete application. With today's action by the TWDB, the state takes another step towards mitigating the damage caused by future flood events. These funds to install Flood Early Warning Systems are important for quick evacuations and to improve the safety of our communities and save lives. The FIF program was established for this purpose and I am glad to see the process is moving forward despite the current economic downturn."