FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2021
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved a project application from the Hidalgo County Drainage District No.1 ("District") for financial assistance through the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) for a portion the project's total cost. The project was approved under Category 2 of the 2020 Flood Intended Use Plan, which is designed for planning, acquisition, design, and construction activities to implement flood mitigation projects.
In recent years, Hidalgo County has experienced more frequent and intense storm events resulting in widespread flooding. The District's Phase 1 Flood Control Project was approved for $32,670,000 in financial assistance consisting of $22,869,000 in financing and $9,801,000 in grant funds. The project will spread between Mile 9 North, Mile 15 North, FM 493, and the IBWC floodway, just north of Weslaco. The project will expand and improve the main drainage ditch, drainage ditch laterals, regional detention facilities, culvert crossings, discharge structures, and pumps to reduce frequent flooding problems and accommodate the area's future development. The District will provide the remainder of the cost to complete the project, which is projected at $3,043,915. The projected completion date is June 30, 2024.
The 2019 Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 7, which created the FIF program to provide funding for flood mitigation projects. The FIF program provides financial assistance in the form of loans with an interest rate of 0% and grants for flood control, flood mitigation, and drainage projects. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a co-author of Senate Bill 500 during the 86th Legislative Session, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was instrumental in securing funding to start the FIF program through a one-time transfer of $793 million from the "Rainy Day" Fund.
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa issued the following statement:
The residents of Hidalgo County have experienced six flooding disaster declarations in five years resulting in damage to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure in various parts of the county. I appreciate the leadership of the Hidalgo County Drainage District No.1 for taking advantage of the Flood Infrastructure Fund program. Today's actions by the TWDB, will reduce frequent flooding problems and accommodate the area's rapid urbanization and future economic development."