Lake Palo Pinto Area Water Supply Corporation requested the county sponsor a grant application for infrastructure improvement at the lake.
“We’re starting to see growth around the lake, that’s one of the most common comments that I hear is that it’s the hidden gem of Palo Pinto County — most people don’t know the lake is there,” LPPA General Manager Chase Lerma said. “With the coronavirus, we’re starting to see more people move that way and weekend summer homes becoming permanent homes so that has put more of a load on our system and smaller water lines are just getting to the point to where they’re at their last connections with TCEQ requirements. So we’re looking for sources to try to get some money in these grants where we don’t have to raise water rates, more than what’s needed.”
The infrastructure grant, Community Development Block Grant, is funded through the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Grant writer Jake McAdams, of Public Management Inc., said this year’s maximum grant applications is $350,000.
“There is a required match on this, somewhere between 5% and 20% of whatever the grant amount that is applied for. The LPPA board members are certainly willing and expecting to take on that match obligation if the county sponsors an application for them,” McAdams said. “The applicant, being the county, is required to procure professional services before the application can be submitted.”
The county has received CDBG funding for sewer line projects in the past.
“We’ve been really blessed in this county to have had several grants funded through this program,” County Treasurer Tanya Fallin said.
A public hearing would be required before the application can be submitted and a grant application through the CDBG program has to be submitted by a county or city. McAdams said the deadline is May 3, 2021, and a resolution and an interlocal agreement would also need to be approved by the court.
“I have some questions on the matching, I have some questions as to their entity funding the matching and some legal questions that I think our county attorney needs to address,” Fallin said. “We’re already working on some issues with our sewer plant and there are some other things that may make this not feasible for the county to do this at this time based upon our own county needs. There are a lot of things that need to be looked at totally before.”
Fallin was also unsure of how the low-income requirement for the grant would be met.
“I’ve actually walked the streets and taken these surveys and I’m a little concerned in [the LPPA’s] area versus what I’ve experienced here in the low-income side,” she said.
Lerma said they’ve never done an income survey before so he was unsure where they would fall on that but will be conducting it, adding that the scope of work will primarily be enlarging what’s already there.
“The area’s growing and a two-inch line can only serve 10 connections per state requirement, so we’ve got a lot of that that’s going on out there,” he said.
The commissioners court needed further discussion on the item before taking action.