BASTROP COUNTY, Texas — Editor's note: The above video is from 2017, when Bastrop County was preparing for Hurricane Harvey. This new grant will help with post-Harvey destruction in the county.
Bastrop County will receive a $2 million federal grant to aid with Hurricane Harvey recovery.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) and is part of a group of grants being awarded to towns and institutions across Southeast and Central Texas and the Gulf Coast, totaling more than $51 million.
"After the devastation brought on by Hurricane Harvey more than two years ago, Texans are still working hard to get back on their feet," Senator John Cornyn said. "I'm glad the Trump Administration continues to focus on the wellbeing of Texans affected by the storm, and I look forward to seeing these funds put to good use across the region."
The money Bastrop County will receive will fund the construction of a new emergency shelter and community center. It will serve as a multipurpose assembly area to provide additional office space for the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team, which was developed following the 2011 complex fire. The building will also allow training space for Texas A&M AgriLife to implement its workforce development and technical assistance program.
KVUE spoke with Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape about the grant. He said that the county had applied for an economic development grant earlier this year to help with the construction of a community center and emergency shelter.
"The actual design is just under 12,000 square feet at 11,884 square feet. The facility will have offices, workrooms, restrooms, a commercial kitchen and a large multi-purpose room for projects, meetings and 4-H activities," Pape said.
Pape said the balance of the money needed to build this project is coming from the county's recent sale of bonds. The project has been delayed in getting started, largely due to the discovery of a natural gas pipeline that bisects the property where the center is set to be built. However, the county and City of Bastrop have worked with the owner of the pipeline easement to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, according to Pape.
Pape said the approval of the EDA funds is very welcome news.
"We are delighted to have these EDA funds to add to our own local funding for the Bastrop County Community Center and Emergency Shelter. This facility will be the focal point of future disaster response activities, along with the Mike Fisher Building which houses our Office of Emergency Management, 911 Communications and Information Technology Department," Pape said. "With all of these new facilities, I believe Bastrop County is much better prepared for whatever may come in the future. We should all be thankful for that.
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