Pearland in position to receive at least $14.8M in Hurricane Harvey response funds

ByAndy Yanez via Community Impact Newspaper logo
Monday, August 1, 2022
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The city of Houston is being asked to hand back millions of dollars to the state, after accusations of its mishandling.

PEARLAND, Texas -- Pearland is one step closer to receiving funds that are dedicated to improvement projects within the city in response to Hurricane Harvey.

The video featured above is from the report on Houston saying Texas GLO stripped city control of $52 million in post-Harvey aid

Pearland City Council at its July 25 regular meeting unanimously approved a resolution formalizing the city's desire to accept $14.8 million in grant funds distributed by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, or H-GAC.

"This is post-(Hurricane) Harvey mitigation grant funding," Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole said. "I think the total amount is $488 million in this particular block grant program. The time has come to finally get these dollars on the street and into projects and get some things built."

The funds are a part of the Texas General Land Office's regional distribution of the Community Development Block Grant Mitigation program, according to agenda documents. The funds will be used for future mitigation efforts, Pearland City Manager Clay Pearson said.

Pearland had previously attempted to secure portions of the original $4.3 billion federal program that was established to address mitigation and disaster recovery issues caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 as well as the 2015 and 2016 floods.

Pearland failed to secure any funds after the city's application was denied because it failed to qualify due to the demographic makeup, limited social vulnerability and the per-capita cost valuation of the Pearland projects to beneficiaries, according to agenda documents.

The scoring methodology used by the GLO became a controversial concern when Harris County and Houston were also initially denied-though later granted funding-in the first round of funding released, according to agenda documents.

While the city is prepared to receive $14.8 million, Pearson said it is the minimum amount of funds Pearland will receive. The city could receive more funding down the line from the program, such as from Harris County, due to portions of Pearland being located within the county's limits, Cole said.

The resolution passed by City Council on July 25 does not include any specific projects.

"This is just a placeholder for those dollars," Pearland Grants-Special Projects Administrator Joel Hardy said. "No action as far as the specific type of use or anything like that. H-GAC wants to make sure that the method of distribution is solid and that the entities that are being awarded are willing to and able to accept the funds."

This article comes from our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspapers.