San Marcos awarded $7.7 million in additional flood relief funds

Flooded car in San Marcos on April 11, 2017 (Courtesy/Edith Bedolla)
Flooded car in San Marcos on April 11, 2017 (Courtesy/Edith Bedolla)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Almost two years after a devastating flood wiped out dozens of homes in Hays County, the city of San Marcos is receiving some exciting news. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it will award an additional $7.7 million to go towards the city’s flood relief funds.

The extra $7.7 million will be added to the already $25 million awarded to the city last year.

“We’ve created an allocation with percentages. A portion of the money will go towards housing and to rehabilitate their houses after the losses of the 2015 floods,” said San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides.

However, a big portion of the grant money will go towards fixing drainage. “We want to keep as much water out of those flood prone neighborhoods as we can, and any water that does get in we want to get it out as quickly as we can,” said Thomaides.

Thomaides says city leaders have worked tirelessly to receive the funds, making multiple trips to Washington D.C. and talking with various congressmen.

“As a result of legislation that began last year, federal funding to San Marcos will now total more than $32 million,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett. “This supports local initiatives that have included significant community participation. I am hopeful that together we will avoid future flood damage and address a wide range of local needs that will strengthen San Marcos.”

Since the money was first awarded the city, a list of future projects have been created. That includes ditch improvements at Interstate 35 and Aquarena Springs Road intersection costing $850,000, a new storm drain system in the Blanco Gardens neighborhood costing $5 million, a new storm drain system along Clarewood and Barbara Drive costing $2.5 million, and reconstruction roadways along Uhland Road costing just over $4 million.

The city also plans to make ditch improvements along Rio Vista Drive costing $700,000 and an overflow channel that would stretch from the Blanco River to River Road doubling as a hike and bike trail costing $11.5 million.

Thomaides says the extra $7.7 million awarded on Thursday will not only provide the opportunity to add more infrastructure projects but could help speed things along.

“The direct improvement of people’s lives that was damaged due to these floods is truly meaningful to myself and I think the whole council.”

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