Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) commissioners, at their regular meeting Monday, March 16, approved an interlocal agreement by and between Aransas County and the ACND with regard to the Little Bay mitigation grant study, with changes made by ACND Attorney Jerry Benadum.

This $1.5 million funding could pave the way for future construction projects.

ACND Attorney Jerry Benadum noted the county is the fiscal agent, but because the project is on ACND property, the ACND will be supervising the project.

“It’s very similar to arrangements we’ve done in the past,” said Benadum.

County Commissioner Charles Smith said the agreement, as rewritten by the ACND, “Isn’t going to fly with our legal counsel (Kristen Barnebey).”

ACND Chairman Malcolm Dieckow said, “Hold on. We are going to take a vote. This will then go to the county and we’ll see what changes are made by the county.”

Smith noted, “This is your property, but it has to be done by someone else’s (FEMA) rules.”

Later in the meeting, during the reports section of the agenda, ACND Harbor Master Keith Barrett said the district’s Corps of Engineers permit, which the ACND holds, has a long tail of requirements. He said if the ACND doesn’t follow the requirements of the permit, it will fall into non-compliance, and that is why the amendments to the agreement were made once it was available for review.

County commissioners are expected to address the agreement, with the changes made by the ACND, at their next meeting.

Background

ACND commissioners, at their Feb. 18 meeting, tabled taking action regarding the agreement because they had not seen the document.

County commissioners, at their March 9 meeting, tabled authorizing County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills to sign the agreement to provide the grant funds budgeted from FEMA Hazardous Mitigation 404 grant program, benefitting Little Bay drainage target area. At that meeting ACND Chairman Malcolm Dieckow said the district had just received the agreement the previous Friday, and the ACND will most likely tweak it.

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