Ellis County Pct. 3 road and bridge department is hopeful its budget will receive federal help this year after summer flooding.
Ellis County is participating in the Federal Emergency Management Association Public Assistance Grant Program, which has been made available to eligible applicants in Texas for the repair of damaged infrastructure that occurred between June 16 and Aug. 3 of this year.
FEMA is providing financial assistance for debris removal and disposal, emergency services related to the disaster and for the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities such as roads, buildings and utilities.
FEMA will provide 75 percent of the cost of eligible projects.
A FEMA representative visited the precinct Friday morning to review damage from flooding during the summer months.
Pct. 3 foreman Lonnie Reavis took the representative on a short tour of the precinct to highlight some of the work the road and bridge crew completed to repair flood damaged areas.
“Most of the problems we had during June and July were dealing with road washouts,” Reavis said. Along with the tour, Pct. 3 administrative assistant Alysa Kirton prepared documentation showing where the crew had spent money on manhours, equipment hours and materials.
“There was quite a bit of paperwork involved in this process but we’re hoping it will all be worthwhile,” Kirton said. “According to our records, the precinct spent $36,075 on labor and materials to repair flood damage. We were also lucky to receive a lot of recycled asphalt for free from the Texas Department of Transportation this year. That’s helped us a lot with repairs we’ve done on the roads in our precinct this year.”
As part of the public assistance program, representatives have also toured Pcts. 2 and 1 and will tour Pct. 4 in the upcoming days.
Since March, the precinct estimates flooding has caused more than $500,000 worth of damage to the precinct’s roadways, bridges and soil conservation lakes.
Reavis said he expects FEMA will reimburse the precinct about 75 percent (about $27,000), for work done after the June and July flooding.
“It was good to get a chance to meet with the FEMA representative,” Reavis said. “He sounded very positive and also informed us that we can get reimbursed for things like barricades, traffic cones and signs that were washed away during the flooding.”
Along with Ellis County, 70 other counties in the state are taking part in the program.
As of Sept. 20, FEMA and the Small Business Administration have approved more than $51,488,898 million in disaster aid distributed to Texans affected by the severe storms between June 16 and Aug. 3.
For more information on the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program, visit http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/process.shtm.