To provide continued support for Texas cities and counties still recovering from last year's historic drought and destructive wildfires, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples has announced $1.4 million in federal disaster relief grants to be awarded to Bastrop County, and the cities of Florence, Llano, and Seymour.
All funds are made available through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program.
"Last year, Texas was challenged not only by the worst single-year drought in state history, but also by the most destructive wildfire season we've ever seen," Commissioner Staples notes. "Through grit and perseverance, our communities are starting to heal. These funds will assist with the rebuilding effort as they allow local leaders to develop the best strategies and solutions for building the infrastructure needed to prevent or diminish the effects of future disasters."
Bastrop County and the three cities each will receive a $350,000 grant. Bastrop County will use the grant to fund recovery projects related to the Bastrop County Complex Fire. The grants for the cities of Florence, Llano and Seymour will fund drought-related projects. Currently, more than half the state still continues to suffer from some degree of drought.
TDA administers the federal CDBG relief grants to provide financial assistance to eligible communities named in a disaster declaration by the governor or the president. The funds can be used to restore infrastructure damaged by natural disasters or, in the case of drought, to install new facilities that resolve a primary drinking water supply shortage.
Florence will use its grant to improve the city's drinking water supplies.
Llano will develop three alluvial/rock cropping shallow wells that will pump water to an upstream reservoir.
Seymour will use its grant to rework idle wells that have struggled with depleting groundwater levels.
Bastrop County will use its funds to remove debris, replenish vegetation, and improve drainage in areas impacted by last year's wildfires.