FEMA funds

Tim Delaney photo Red Cross Executive Director Alex Garcia gave an update on the work the organization has done the past 18 months, including in Refugio County, at the Refugio County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday morning, June 25.

REFUGIO – County commissioners were advised that of 44 projects  for rebuilding, 19 of those have been obligated as of Tuesday morning, June 25.

The rest of the FEMA proposed projects are to be obligated or assured of funding before the two-year deadline (two years after Hurricane Harvey) on Aug. 25.

LNV engineer John Miller said three projects have been bid out. 

Those projects include the airport runway lights, the sheriff’s annex in Tivoli and the Refugio County Museum’s roof.

Miller said the runway lights recommended bid came from F&W Electrical Construction in Floresville.

That bid was for $77,970. Commissioners approved the bid.

No bids were submitted for the sheriff’s annex in Tivoli, so Miller said it would have to be rebid.

The museum roof received two bids: one was for replacing the tile roof at $128,478.

Another bid, which would be an improvement, was for a steel roof for the museum at $157,168.

Commissioners approved the bid for a tile roof. However, some question remained if FEMA and insurance would pay for it.

In other county business, commissioners heard an 18-month report from Red Cross Executive Director Alex Garcia.

Garcia noted that Hurricane Harvey  was the most devastating event to happen in 48 years.

Because of the damage and effects of the storm, he said the Red Cross has donated $523 million.

He said 577,000 families have been served in three capacities – immediate, long term and complex care.

Immediate care went to 1,247 families at $400 a family.

Long term care of $2,000 went to 96 families, and complex care of $4,500 went to 29 families.

The complex care ended as of May.

The long-term care extends to the end of August.

With that, Garcia said a “pot of money” remained.

That $62 million was being distributed to organizations that continue to help people, such as the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group.

Garcia said housing was a big part of the expense.

He said 13 more homes are in construction currently.

Garcia noted that 90% of the organization is volunteers to make sure the funds go to people who need them.

“As the two-year anniversary comes up, we are monitoring every month to make sure the money is allocated to the families who need it,” he said.

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