Flood Infrastructure Fund Application Period is Open
The Food Infrastructure Fund (FIF) was passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019 and later approved by Texans during the November 2019 election in the form of a constitutional amendment. The FIF’s purpose is to make the implementation of drainage and flood projects more affordable and to meet immediate needs for funding. Following voter approval, $793 million transferred from the Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) to the FIF. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is tasked with managing and distributing the money in the fund to assist political subdivisions in the financing of drainage, flood control, and flood mitigation projects through loans and grants. Political subdivisions eligible to receive FIF assistance include cities, counties, and any district or authority created under Article III, Section 52 or Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution. Note that certain projects (flood protection planning for watersheds) have expanded eligibility allowances. Projects eligible for funding include planning, construction, and rehabilitation phase activities in addition to warning systems, stream gauges, educational campaigns, and crossing barriers.
To apply for FIF funds from TWDB, eligible political subdivisions must submit an abridged application. The abridged application requires applicants to identify the projects they wish to receive funding. Applicants must also include additional information such as demonstrating cooperation with other political subdivisions to address flood control needs in the area, that all eligible political subdivisions in the area have participated in the process of developing the proposed flood project and have held public meetings on the project, and that technical requirements for the proposed flood project have been completed and compared to other projects in the area through a benefit/cost ratio analysis.
The abridged application period opened on March 16, 2020 and closes May 14, 2020. Currently, TWDB expects to have the abridged applications reviewed and prioritized by early summer of 2020. TWDB will then extend invitations to selected applicants to submit financial applications. Financial assistance is expected to begin in October 2020.
More information on applicant and project eligibility can be found on the TWDB Flood Infrastructure Fund webpage including a downloadable copy of the abridged application.
UPDATE: The deadline to file and abridged application has been extended from May 14, 2020 to June 15, 2020.
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