Staples announces relief funds for water resources
AUSTIN -- With a historic drought threatening to deplete entire water supplies in some rural Texas communities, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced Jan. 12, in a Texas Department of Agriculture press release, the availability of funding to sustain and enhance water resources. The funds, totaling approximately $5 million and made available through the federal Texas Community Development Block Grant Program, will finance waterway infrastructure improvements, new drilling methods, and other strategies for securing sufficient water reserves.
Upon transfer of the Texas Department of Rural Affairs to the Texas Department of Agriculture on Oct. 1, Staples recognized the underutilization of certain disaster-designated funds and immediately went to work to ensure those dollars would be more readily available to communities impacted by drought, flooding, and other types of disasters.
Eligible counties and cities must be named in a state or presidential disaster declaration. Counties must have populations of fewer than 200,000 residents, and cities must have populations under 50,000. Projects eligible for funding consideration include, but are not limited to, debris clearance, road reconstruction, flood and drainage facilities, relocation of water intake facilities, and the installation of water lines to access new water sources.
To request a copy of the funding application, contact Tom Entsminger at 512-936-7891 or Tom.Entsminger@TexasAgriculture.gov. Applications must be submitted within 12 months of the date of the disaster declaration. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.