Dan Robertson, public information officer of the Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA) came to Bridge City today bearing gifts, almost 9.7 million of them. The much awaited grant check was handed over to Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte. 

The presentation was also attended by Southeast Texas Regional Planning Director Shaun Davis, U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, State Reps. Mike Hamilton and Joe Deshotel.

The money will be used to help rebuild Bridge City’s infrastructure that was damaged during Hurricane Ike. 

“With another hurricane season now underway, getting these repairs and upgrades accomplished will be another sign that you can’t keep  Bridge City down,” said Brady, who was instrumental in getting $6.3 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program supplemental disaster recovery founds for areas impacted by disaster in 2008. “I’m very pleased that roughly half of those dollars have come home here to Texas where we have had more than our share of Mother Nature’s wrath in the last few years, “ he added.

About $3.2 million is earmarked for I&I repair (inflow and infiltration) of sewer lines, with plans for 15 emergency generators at the water plant, lift stations and city hall. The water plant generator would also cover the public works complex. All generators will be natural gas except for two, which will be diesel.
Streets that took on the most flooding during Hurricane Ike, such as Jones, Roberts and Nevils, Rachal Drive and part of Farm Road 1442 have been pre-approved for hot-mix asphalt according to City Manager Jerry Jones. Mayor Kirk Roccaforte mentioned that some sections of Rachal have already been redone.

In a February press release, the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission announced the ORCA grant for infrastructure improvements. Commission staff reviewed damage assessments, breaking repair requests into the categories of water, wastewater, public safety facilities, drainage and transportation. Specific city and county assessments were compared with the overall assessment amounts for the entire county to obtain a percentage. Specific local entities were then allocated an amount of funds based on their community’s percentage of damage compared to the damage within their county. Other sources used to determine amounts were figures from FEMA, the ORCA and the Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management.