After being devastated by flooding repeatedly from waves of storms which rolled through the area, disrupting the water supply, the city of Kenedy recently received welcome news that will help secure its water supply in the form of a $43 million grant from the Texas General Land Office.

The city of Kenedy has faced its fair share of the challenges of Texas storms,” said Mayor Joe Baker. “Residents have endured the failure of its water treatment plant four times during four disaster events, including Hurricane Harvey. Residents, evacuees, and businesses have been forced to go without water for periods of time and to boil their water in direct relation to natural disaster storm events. Each storm devastates homes, infrastructure, and the local economy.”

Although addressing the problem has long been a goal of city staff, including City Manager William Linn and the Kenedy City Council, which includes Baker, the prohibitive cost tag was a towering obstacle to completing work, until the grant was received.

“As we repeatedly rebuild and recover, the need for improved water system infrastructure becomes more obvious. However, the cost of building a water system to handle the growing needs of our community isn’t a small budget item,” Baker said. In fact, the cost of a new water treatment plant for the city of Kenedy is nearly three times that of its annual budget.

“But recently the Texas General Land Office (GLO) gave us the good news of a lifetime. Commissioner George P. Bush recently announced the GLO is awarding the city of Kenedy more than $43 million to build a brand-new water system to benefit the residents, most of which are low-to-moderate income families.”

The infusion of this money will give the city the means to address its water system needs, and help to ensure the community retains a working water system despite the impact of storms.

“With these funds, the city of Kenedy will build a new wastewater treatment plant on an independent (portion) of the city’s power grid, which will enable the wells to continue to produce and pump water and provide an additional five days of water, thereby permitting enough time for storage tanks to properly refill and maintain TCEQ required pressure and flow rates,” Baker said. “The location of the water source is far enough away from coastal areas that any storm system reaching the site should have dissipated and only have minimal impact. “On behalf of all Kenedy residents, we sincerely thank our partners at the GLO and Commissioner Bush for awarding us these critical infrastructure funds. This mitigation grant will provide for a large-scale project that would have been nearly impossible to complete. 

“This GLO mitigation project will also benefit some of our most vulnerable residents and provide generation improvements for our local families. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the GLO on this critical infrastructure project for the future of Kenedy.”

•josborne@mysoutex.com•

 

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