Special to the News-Times
AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham announced the Texas General Land Office approved $68,042,000 in regional mitigation funds for six federally eligible infrastructure projects, three of which will aid areas of San Jacinto County.
“The General Land Office is helping to empower communities to move forward projects that will protect the homes and businesses of those who live there,” Buckingham said. “Locally led prioritization of mitigation projects is important because it strengthens critical infrastructure and protects communities against the impacts of natural disasters. I am proud of the work being done at the Texas General Land Office to not only help those in need, but to support our communities as they grow.”
Also, more than $42 million for broadband and interoperable radio communications infrastructure to be administered by the Deep East Texas Council of Government. Through the Regional Mitigation Program, the GLO enabled local prioritization, which will have a tremendous impact across multiple regions.
•City of Coldspring sewer system improvements — $631,000. This project will survey, design, and construct a sewer collection system, and upgrade the Pea Patch Lift Station.
•City of Shepherd water system improvements — $1,964,000. This project includes construction of a new water production system, water distribution lines, and drive access.
•DETCOG broadband and interoperable radio communications infrastructure — $42,694,000. The project will address current and future risks of public communication outages from flooding, storms, tornadoes by the installation fiber optic cable, microwave links, and communication tower attachments in the counties of Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Polk and San Jacinto. The project will expand the availability and affordability of broadband infrastructure and services as well as increase the overall access and adoption of broadband services across the region. Wireless internet services will utilize CBRS (Citizens Band Radio Service) wireless stations mounted on existing communication towers throughout the five-county region. Residents will utilize the enhanced wireless radio service and will be provided with higher speed internet services.
The Texas General Land Office allocated $1,166,997,000 in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Regional Mitigation Program to reduce the risks and impacts of future natural disasters.
Each Council of Government with HUD-designated eligible counties developed a method of distribution for allocation of funds to units of local governments. Each COG developed their MOD through extensive public participation.
HUD defines mitigation as activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship, by lessening the impact of future disasters. HUD requires that at least 50 percent of total funds must be used for activities benefiting low- to moderate-income persons.
For more information, please visit recovery.texas.gov/mitigation.