Onion Creek area getting nearly $12M for more buyouts

Jose Gutierrez helps clean up a friend's house after it flooded. (AP Photo/ Tamir Kalifa)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nearly $12 million will go to more home buyouts in the Onion Creek area after an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps signed separate agreements with the City of Austin and Travis County to buy out homes in the 25-year floodplain and restore 206 acres along the creek and provide 140 acres of recreational features. Of the $11.8 million appropriated by Congress, up to $1 million will go to the county and between $8 and $10 million will be given to the City of Austin. The remainder will be used to design the recreational features.

More federal funding is expected in the coming years, city officials said.

“The sooner these funds can be made available to affected families along the Onion Creek watershed, the better,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett. “From the tragedy and uncertainty that they have suffered, we will eventually have a green space along the creek, which our entire community can enjoy.”

Plans for recreational uses will be developed with public input as the buyouts progress, but will likely include trails and open areas.

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