Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
State Awards $46.2 Million for Rural Texas Community
Houston County Courier - August 2009
AUSTIN - The Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA) announced on Tuesday, Aug. 17 it will award $46,280,195 to 173 rural communities throughout Texas for community and economic development projects.
Grants for $250,000 each will go to six rural communities in the Ark-Tex area, including Bogata, Omaha, Paris, Redwater, Talco and Winfield. Linden will receive a grant of $235,000.
The funds come from the agency’s 2009 Texas Community Development Block Grant program (TXCDBG) and are not part of the federal stimulus package.
According to ORCA representatives, Crockett will receive a grant of $250,000 to install 1,540 LF of 18" and 24" sanitary sewer line, 520 LF of pipe bursting, and seven new manholes, as well as complete 50 LF of street repair and reconnect six sanitary sewer services.
Construction shall take place on Second Street and cross country to Navarro Lane toward the Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“The need for this assistance is great; we received more than 600 applications for the 2009 funding cycle,” said Charles S. Stone. “About 90 percent of the projects are for water and sewer improvements to fix substandard, old or dilapidated systems.
The benefits of the projects go beyond water and sewer services because the improvements will provide the foundation for economic development.
“If your water and sewer services are substandard and your roads are bad, you can’t retain a workforce in the community, so you can’t attract employers,” said Mark Wyatt, director of ORCA’s community development division.
“Sound public infrastructure is an essential part of economic development.”
Rural cities with populations less than 50,000 and counties that have a non-metropolitan population under 200,000 are eligible for ORCA’s Texas CDBG program.
This program serves approximately 1,017 rural communities, 245 rural counties, and provides services to over 375,000 low- to moderate-income beneficiaries each year.
ORCA makes the broad resources of state government more accessible to rural communities.
The agency ensures a continuing focus on rural issues, monitors governmental actions, recommends solutions to problems affecting rural Texas, and is a provider of rural-focused state and federal resources for community development, economic development, housing and rural health.
ORCA is the federally designated State Office of Rural Health.