Val Verde County is poised to receive nearly $682,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) monies for repairs to county roads damaged by floods in 2018.
Val Verde County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. said the roads were damaged after heavy rains triggered floods across the county in late 2018.
“We had a lot of roads outside the city limits that were torn up by the floods,” Owens said.
He said the commissioners of Precinct 2 and Precinct 3 repaired the damaged roads in their precincts.
“So the way their money is going to work, since they went out and fixed the roads, we’re going to be reimbursed for those. When those monies come back to us, they will go straight into the precinct budgets, and the commissioners will be able to use them as they see fit,” Owens said.
In Precinct 2, the Dolan Creek and Myers Road were damaged and repaired, and in Precinct 3, the Juno Road, the Pandale Road and the Blue Hills Road were repaired.
“Precinct 1 and Precinct 4 were different because when they receive the funds, they’ll be able to go and fix the roads damaged in the 2018 floods. The commissioners patched the roads, so they were passable,” Owens said.
In Precinct 1, the road damaged was Lenise Road in Escondido Estates east of Laughlin Air Force Base
“What they’re going to be doing on Lenise is building a box culvert. That way people can get out of the area if it floods that bad again,” the county judge said.
In Precinct 4, the damaged roads were the Langtry Road, Fielder Road and Pumpville Road.
Owens said the county’s grant writer, Carl Esser, keeps track of grants available to the county.
“Commissioner (Pct. 3 Beau) Nettleton visited with Carl about looking for these grants, and they came in one day and told us about them. They wanted us to apply, so we applied, and this is a process we’ve been involved in for about a year-and-a-half now,” Owens said.
Tom Garcia, executive assistant to the county judge, and Liz Serrino, office manager to the county commissioners, made a presentation about the flood grants to Val Verde County Commissioners Court during the court’s May 13 session.
“(On May 12), we received an email from the Texas Division of Emergency Management with respect to reimbursement for Precinct 1 for the flood damage that was done in 2018, and we worked on this all of 2019, and this is the first of four award letters that we will be receiving,” Garcia told the court during that meeting.
The amount of the award for Precinct 1 was $26,689.97.
Serrino said the dollar amount for Precinct 2 will be $178,945. The award for projects in Precinct 3 will be $180,100, and the amount expected for Precinct 4 is $295,618.
Owens noted the environmental review of the awards is underway, and Serrino told the court the reviews should be completed and the awards processed by the end of August.
“The entire obligation has to be done by Aug. 25. They’ve already gone through the tribal; review, and all that’s left is the environmental,” Garcia told commissioners court members.
Owens noted the dollar amounts for Precinct 1 and Precinct 4 are for roads that still remain in need of repair.
“In Precinct 2 and Precinct 3, the dollars are for what they’ve already spent,” Owens noted.
“That’s right,” Garcia agreed.
The flood grants requested for the four precincts total $681,352.97.