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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

City Council hears presentation on COVID-19 aid money, flood plans

city council
city council

At its Jan. 3 meeting, San Marcos City Council received a staff presentation about the reallocation of COVID-19 response money into new programs for COVID-19 issues.
The Community Development Block Grant-Entitlement (CDBG) is a program that provides grants to communities to develop areas. San Marcos has $188,443 from CDBG to reallocate to new programs.
According to Carol Griffith, housing and community development manager for the City of San Marcos, these programs will be required to follow guidelines set by the CDBG.
“The programs must meet all CDBG and coronavirus response criteria […] including serving low to moderate income individuals,” Griffith said.
The plan is to reallocate the money into the Rent and Utilities Assistance Program administered by the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (BR3T). This program would provide the first month’s rent and utility assistance to renters facing eviction.
City Council members are hopeful that this program will help people get the COVID-19 assistance that they need to continue having a safe place to live.
“I’ve heard really good things about BR3T so I’m hopeful that this will be a good form of aid for our neighbors,” Councilmember Alyssa Garza said.
The council also addressed confusion around the plan, including some concerns that it will take away money allocated to COVID-19 testing.
“This is money that was not spent on testing that is being reallocated to something else,” Councilmember Mike Gleason said.
The presentation was passed in a 7-0 vote meaning there will be a public comment period between Jan. 4 and Feb. 3 before the final decision on Feb. 7.
The council also held a presentation about another grant from CDBG to reduce the risk of flooding damage in the city after the 2015 floods.
According to a presentation held by Carol Griffith, the grant CDBG-MIT (mitigation), serves the purpose of reducing damage to life and property in the future and prioritizing lower-income areas and those areas most impacted by the 2015 Memorial Day floods.
The grant will pay for the construction of channels, outfalls and the regrading of River Road to reduce flooding.
Recently on River Road, a storm drain was built to defer water but according to Jacque Thomas, senior DR engineer, the drain is currently facing the neighborhood which can cause flooding. The road will be regraded to drain the water into the river instead.
“Right now the water drains towards the neighborhood as opposed to towards the ditch, so it needs to go the ditch to eventually go into the ditch so we will regrade the road to [do that],” Thomas said.
The motion was passed in a 7-0 vote. The next steps will be to post the amendment text on Jan. 4, have a public hearing at a to-be-determined time and go to the council for approval on Feb. 21.
The San Marcos City Council meets at 6 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit the City Council website.

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