The Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) held a public hearing Thursday, Sept. 10 regarding the submission of an application to the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for a Texas Community Development Block Grant - Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) grant.

There is a little more than $1 billion available in this round of funding for infrastructure projects.

The maximum award will be $100 million, but Public Management’s Kenneth J. Coignet, who led the hearing, said, “I don’t think there will be a lot of $100 million projects.”

The ACND is seeking $18 million in two projects. The first project is bulkheads at Cove Harbor. The second is a bulkhead on ACND property in the area of the ACND’s proposed marina (south end of harborfront property at the end of Market Street). This does not include the property owned by Bass family interests.

The ACND will compete against other entities for these funds.

Projects eligible for funding are those that increase resilience to disaster and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk or loss of life.

“This is a lot different than FEMA funds, which (just pays to) build (something) back to what it was,” said Coignet.

He noted the ACND has never received CDBG-MIT funds.

Coignet outlined the scoring system, noting projects that affect Low to Moderate Income (LMI) areas have a much better chance of being approved.

The LMI is defined as 80% of a defined area’s median income.

“If you don’t get the available 20 points (in the scoring system) you’re basically out of the running,” he said.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 28.

The engineer will develop spec (not full) plans for the projects to use in the application.

“When the application is substantially complete it will be available online,” said Coignet.

The GLO will review all applications and applicants will know if their project(s) is funded by the middle of next year.

“If your project(s) is funded then you’ll line up contractors,” said Coignet. “These are usually two-year contracts.”

Coignet told ACND officials his company will use all data already collected by the district (including permit information) when writing the application.

He then reviewed the scoring system used for the grants. His company believes the ACND can score almost 79 of the possible 105 points.

“All we can do is get it up as high as we can and see what happens,” said Coignet.

(Note: The ACND is also seeking funding for replacing the Rockport Harbor breakwater, but that is through FEMA Public Assistance funding.)

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