Kleberg County experienced severe flooding during Hurricane Dolly in 2008. Water rose to chest height in several of the subdivisions in the Ricardo area, prompting evacuations and property damage. Roadways were impassable making access for emergency services and evacuation difficult. The County was a federal disaster area and eligible for Disaster Recovery assistance.
GrantWorks assisted the County in developing its Round 1 Method of Distribution, which directed funds toward the poorest affected areas. These areas included several of the “colonias” identified in the County’s 2003 Colonia Comprehensive Plan. Many colonias were developed in the 1950-1980 period before subdivision regulations were developed. Often they were built on marginal lands and within floodplains.
Flood control and drainage improvements for the colonias were further outlined in the County’s 2010 Drainage Master Plan, funded through a Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant managed by GrantWorks.
GrantWorks worked with the County Judge and Commissioner and two engineering firms on the Round 1 and Round 2.1 Disaster Recovery applications. We provided our field survey crew leader to conduct door-to-door income surveys of the colonia areas’ residents, created GIS maps of the target area locations, completed and organized the application materials, and qualified the project under the “failure to function” Disaster Recovery criterion and the low-and-moderate income CDBG national objective.
Kleberg County used its $187,000 Round 1 and $1,000,000 Round 2.1 grants to assist four colonias: Venado Acres in Round 1 and East Siesta Estates, West Siesta Estates, and 772 Ranchettes in Round 2.1. Work is underway for the Round 1 project and the County hopes to complete its Round 2.1 projects in 2011-12. The County is now working with GrantWorks to develop a Round 2.2 application to further assist colonia residents with drainage and flood control.