MILAM COUNTY, TX — Milam County cities are set to receive $27.3 million, a historic amount of grant funding from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, which will help the county prepare for future disasters. Four towns within the county have each been allotted several million dollars to use towards infrastructure projects.
The cities of Buckholts, Rockdale, Cameron and Milano will be allotted several million dollars apiece, to address infrastructural issues that have created dangerous circumstances during storms. The county has struggled in the past with acquiring the funding needed to address these safety concerns, according to county judge Steve Young.
"Money is tight, and for the county government, city government, how it has been and always will be: you never have enough money to do things that need to be done," Young said. "Just like running your household budget, you have to kind of say, 'What is the worst problem I have? That’s where I'm going to put my money.'”
According to Young, Buckholts will receive approximately $4.5 million towards sewage and stormwater projects. Milano will receive over $4 million for road projects and drainage improvements. Cameron receives the largest grant of more than $14 million, to improve a pumping station that provides citizens with drinking water. Young said this will be a major financial blessing on Cameron.
"Cameron gets their water from the river that goes through the town, called Little River," Young said. "That is a problem for them because the erosion washes away around the pump and so forth. So they were going to borrow a lot of money to fix that themselves, and I don’t know how they were going to make all the payments."
In Rockdale, City Manager Barbara Holly said her town will use their $4.4 million in grants to improve drainage issues.
"In the community, we have identified about nine areas where we have had consistent flooding," Holly explained. "And whenever we would have major storms, houses would get water in them, or it would go over the top the roads and keep people from driving... This is intended to address every known drainage issue that we have in this small community.”
All of this funding comes in light of the county’s damages suffered following Hurricane Harvey. Cities had the opportunity to apply for these grants from the state in the fall of 2020.
Thorndale city officials did not apply at the time due to some complications, but Judge Young said the city will be applying this fall when the state issues a second round of grants.
This collective amount of grant money is the largest recorded grant to be received by Milam county, and Young assured the funding will be put to good use.