San Marcos awarded additional $978,000 of disaster recovery funds on Tuesday

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that it has awarded an additional $178.5 million to communities affected by natural disasters in 2015 and 2016, and the city of San Marcos stands to receive $978,000.

The latest HUD allocation brings the city’s total federal disaster recovery funding to $33,794,000. The city received a $25 million disaster recovery grant in early 2016 as well as an additional $7.74 million allocation in May. The money will help the city continue recovery efforts from two floods in 2015 that destroyed hundreds of homes in the city.

“I would like to thank HUD Secretary Ben Carson and our Texas congressional delegation who worked diligently to secure additional aid to help Texas communities that are still recovering from tragic flooding,” said George P. Bush, commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. “More than three-quarters of our state’s population lives in one of the counties affected by these historic floods. Because the U.S. has experienced fewer disasters than anticipated this year, additional funding is available for continued recovery efforts in Texas.”

San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides also thanked the city’s representatives in Washington for helping to secure the money.

“We know that all of the advocacy and hard work that came from Sen. [John] Cornyn’s office and Congressman [Lloyd] Doggett’s office is greatly appreciated,” Thomaides said. “It’s definitely going to impact the lives in a positive way of the families that were harmed by the 2015 floods.”

The city is in the process of preparing flood mitigation projects to be funded by the money it has received from the federal government. According to the city’s action plan, which has been submitted and approved by HUD, 30 percent of disaster recovery funds will be dedicated to housing projects, including rehabilitation, reconstruction or buyouts for owner-occupied and rental housing. Fifty percent of the funds will be used for infrastructure projects aimed at improving the city’s flood resiliency, 10 percent of the funds will be used for planning projects and 5 percent will be used for administration of the grants.

Thomaides said the money will likely go toward a mix of housing and infrastructure projects.

“It takes a long time, but these are federal dollars, and they come with federal rules,” Thomaides said. “We have to make sure we follow those rules.”

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Brett Thorne reported on education, business, economic development and city government in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda from 2012 to 2017. Thorne attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where he graduated in 2010. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2012 and was promoted to editor in 2013.
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