REFUGIO – County commissioners acknowledged submitting two projects to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which oversees RESTORE Act funds last week.

The submission of the projects was done July 19, making the grant deadline.

“We wanted to make sure everybody knew we submitted them,” Refugio  County Judge Blaschke said.

Under the funded priorities list are the Bayside Boat Ramp and Breakwater Project and the Austwell Shoreline Erosion Project.  

The two projects were submitted in 2016 for the RESTORE Act funds but were passed over.

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies (RESTORE) of the Gulf Coast States Act was passed in response to the British Petroleum Deep Water Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

In this round of submissions, bucket 2 funds total $360 million to be distributed over five Gulf of Mexico states.

“It is a pre-proposal, Hopefully, we will get invited back for a full proposal (in the fall),” Blaschke said.

If the county is invited back, then a public comment period will be scheduled.

“In fall, we will meet the first hurdle. Then it goes to permits and the RESTORE Act Council,” Blaschke said.

If all goes well, the county will know if its projects are funded in spring 2020.

“I hope so,” Blaschke said.

He said Toby Baker, executive director of the TCEQ, has great interest in the projects and helping the Texas coastline.

“Small, little counties will have an edge, especially those that have an economic and common benefit,” Blaschke said.

The judge added that  Ray De Los Santos of Santos-McBain Management and Planning was spearheading the projects for funding.

De Los Santos also is affiliated with the Refugio County Community Development Foundation

The estimated cost of both projects in 2016 was $5.8 million.

Blaschke also said the projects are scalable, meaning they can be accomplished in phases.

Tim Delaney is the Refugio editor at the  Advance-Guard Press and can be reached at 361-526-2397, or at refugio@mySouTex.com.