The Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors today voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the H-GAC Round 2 Phase 2 Method of Distribution of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds, which reallocates non-housing, public housing and subsidized housing funds. Listen
“With each new round of hurricane recovery funds we adopt a method of redistribution, or MOD as it is sometimes short-handed, that outlines the allocation by jurisdictions,” explained H-GAC Executive Director Jack Steele. “After we do those allocations we have provisions for unexpected – when a jurisdiction determines that it does not wish to use money that’s been allocated to it, or when projects in a jurisdiction come in under the anticipated and allocated amount.”
Steele said that in those cases the funds will revert first to the jurisdiction in question, second to the county in question, and third to the region, and then finally will revert back to the state.
Economic Development Program Manager Chuck Wemple said the Texas General Land Office notified the H-GAC in May that they were recapturing allocations from a number of entities that had not applied for their funding in the non-housing category and the housing category.
“And so our task is to reallocate via our H-GAC method of distribution that was approved by the board back in November of 2011,” Wemple said. “In the case of Taylor Lake Village, the $149,340 that they did not apply for would go to Harris County.”
Wemple said if the funds cannot be used in Harris County they would be reallocated to priority coastal counties within the MOD.
“They would first go to Matagorda County,” he said. “If Matagorda County was unable to apply then Chambers would follow, followed by Brazoria and then Galveston.”
He said that neither Missiouri City nor Fort Bend County applied for funds, thus $4,430,879 will be reallocated to the priority coastal counties.
Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark questioned the allocations to Matagorda and Chambers counties.
“Even though their amount of damage wasn’t nearly as significant as Galveston and Brazoria County they still are getting more funds?” Clark asked.
Steele explained that the H-GAC had established a “floor allocation” to provide each coastal county a minimum amount “so that they would have some money to do a meaningful project”.
All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous.
Colorado County Judge Ty Prause, Wharton County Judge Judge Phillip Spenrath, Conroe Council Member Toby Powell, Deer Park Council Member Thane Harrison, Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, La Porte Council Member Chuck Engelken, Jr., Pasadena Council Member Darrell Morrison and Texas City Commissioner Dee Ann Haney were absent and not represented by alternates. Chambers County Commissioner Gary Nelson was absent but represented by Commissioner Rusty Senac, Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald was absent but represented by Commissioner Kent Pollar, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker was absent but represented by Council Member Ellen Cohen. (Editor's note: the attendance list has been revised since this article was first published)
Steele, Pearland Mayor .Tom Reid and Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski reported on the recent meeting of the National Association of Regional Councils in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“It was a lovely city,” Judge Bilski said, holding up a copy of the agenda for the meeting. “Unfortunately, my spouse enjoyed the city more than I did because this is my agenda and we worked from Sunday through Wednesday on various federal issues.”
Also at today's meeting, Steele introduced Rick Guerrero, who succeeded Mary Spain as intergovernmental relations manager.