Bridge City is moving forward with the Acquisition and Buyout Program sponsored by the Texas General Land Office (GLO). The City Council met Tuesday and approved applying for the Community Development Block Grant associated with the program.
Traylor & Associates was confirmed as the administrator for the grant. Melinda Smith with Traylor reviewed the Acquisition Program for Bridge City. Roughly $1.5 million will be available for the program in the city while getting contracts in hands and get money flowing.
It is very preliminary until there are actual applicants to determine the number of homes and what services they would be eligible to receive. The acquisitions will help get residents out of harm’s way by moving them from future flooding by storms. “Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen before this hurricane season, but we’re getting it as fast as we can and hope to have it before the next go round.” Smith advised.
City Manager Jerry Jones mentioned earlier during the meeting that Bridge City has prepared a preliminary list of 22 potential applicants for the Acquisition and Buyout Program. The City Council approved months ago to only go with the acquisition portion of the program which allows the city to buy the property from the homeowner, tear down the house, and then sell the lot later.
The 30-day comment period for the Community Development Block Grant for Infrastructure starts Wednesday, May 22, after the council approved applying for that grant on Tuesday. The General Land Office is sponsoring the grant and Traylor & Associates will be the administrator for Bridge City.
Smith said the city was allotted $2,034,182 to handle reparations following Tropical Storm Harvey. The grant carries a requirement of 70 percent of the funds must be used to benefit low to moderate income individuals. Bridge City has filed an appeal with the GLO to waive those requirements. The appeal is still pending with the governor’s office, but Smith indicated her office has been advised to move forward in anticipation of the appeal being granted.
St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services (SVDP) spoke to the City Council about the services it is providing for individuals in Orange County. Brandy Crane with SVDP said her organization is working with partner agencies to assist those effected by Harvey. They are providing home repairs, household furniture, household appliances, and other related needs. SVDP Disaster Services can be contacted by calling 211 or calling (409) 658-8781.
At the beginning of the meeting the council approved a proclamation recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in Bridge City. Twelve motorcyclists with the Prodicals Motorcycle Club attended the meeting and thanked the council for the proclamation and promoting safety on the road regarding motorcyclists.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-