Rockport Finance Director Katherine Griffin and Public Works Director Mike Donoho, at the Rockport City Council’s last meeting Tuesday, July 9, provided an update about Hurricane Harvey projects.
Griffin noted the city has expensed $5.775 million in labor, materials, and contracts for repairs, relocation, and debris removal since the storm. Revenue received to offset those expenses total $4.177 million, which includes $2.236 million in insurance proceeds, $1.48 million in FEMA reimbursements, and $461,000 from Rebuild Texas grants.
“We’ll see more money come in from FEMA as large projects are completed,” said Griffin.
She also noted funds received does not include any money from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for the Key Allegro bridge. Work can’t officially begin on the bridge until TxDOT’s next fiscal year, which begins in September.
Griffin said additional insurance claims will be filed for remaining depreciation and costs exceeding original repair estimates.
All revenues and expenditures associated with hurricane recovery are tracked in the General Fund.
Donoho said the city has more than 100 active recovery projects ranging from lift station fences, vehicle damage, city hall relocation and rebuild, and various projects at parks and city facilities.
“We have a lot of projects completed, some near completion, and some (i.e. – Key Allegro Bridge and Downtown Anchor Project – combination county courthouse / city hall) haven’t been started,” said Donoho.
He praised Griffin, city hall staff and department heads for their work since Harvey.
“It’s changed the way we do business,” said Donoho.
Even with all the pain and setbacks due to the storm, he noted, “There are good things that will come out of Harvey.”
Donoho said the city has learned a lot since Harvey, and will be better prepared for the next one.
“I commend the mayor (Pat Rios) and city manager (Kevin Carruth) for all their work and trips to Austin telling our story,” said Donoho.
Carruth said Griffin, City Secretary Teresa Valdez, and Assistant City Secretary Ruby Beaven have been doing everything they did before the storm, plus all the extra work due the storm.
“We’ll be dealing with this for three to five more years,” said Carruth. “There was a lot of suffering (due to Harvey), but long-term, there will be a lot of good come out of it.
Donoho noted before the storm there were a lot of drainage projects on the books, but the city didn’t have the funding to start them.
“Now, we’re going to be able to fund a lot of those things in our (countywide) drainage master plan,” he said.
Carruth added, “We’ll see the benefits (we receive after Harvey) for a long, long time.”
Donoho said city employees have worked a lot of long hours and still have a long way to go, but said, “We’re not going to give up.”