West Plans to Submit FEMA Application by Oct. 30th
WEST, TX (KXXV) -
The city of West is starting to receive funds to help with the rebuilding process, including millions of dollars from the Texas Water Development Board. However, help from FEMA is crucial to the city.
City officials are planning to submit their FEMA application by October 30th. The plan is to take the money from FEMA and put it towards new streets and sewage pipes that were damaged by the blast.
The question is, how much will they get? West Mayor Tommy Muska says FEMA did agree to cover the cost of 80 percent of the streets. It'll cost one million dollars to fix the streets in zone three, which is the worst impacted area in the city.
"I think it'll pass," Muska said. "We are not asking for the moon. We are asking for what was damaged and obviously streets need to be fixed."
Muska is confident that FEMA will give them what they need, but says if FEMA doesn't come through, it'll work out.
"I'll make it work. One way or the other we will fix it," Muska said. "I feel confident. From help with our friends down in Austin, we'll make it work."
West also received an additional 10 million dollars from the Texas Water Development Board. Five million dollars of that money is considered a grant, but the other five million is considered a loan. The help of that money will cover the cost of lost revenue from water. At least 60 percent was lost. The nursing home and the high and intermediate schools were the biggest customers.
The city's bond credit rating went down, which affects the cost of re-paying a loan. Now, city officials aren't sure if they should accept the five million dollar loan.
"What we are looking at is our various options," said Muska. "We lost a lot of revenue and if we can't afford those payments, then we are going to have to pass on the loan or at least try to extend it down the road until we get a better footing on our finances."
The city is still expected to receive the 10 million dollars that were set aside from the state's rainy day fund.
Muska also says that everyone is coming back and rebuilding. 165 building permits have been issued and 30 homes are under construction. Muska is expecting another 50 building permits to be issued by the end of the year.