1. Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Construction - Colonia La Presa

Funding Agency: Texas Water Development Board; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Grant Program: Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP)
Project Total: $7,000,000.00
Funding Requested: $3,500,000.00
County Match: Undetermined
Status: Need to identify additional funding sources

In August 2011, URS Corporation created an Environmental Information Document (Facility Plan) for the La Presa Colonia Project in Webb County. The Texas Water Development Board will only fund a portion, fifty percent (50%) of the total project amount. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was a potential funding source for this project. But due to their budgetary cutbacks, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is unable to financially commit to this project at this time. For this reason, the Economic Development Department is actively researching additional funding sources to defray the extremely high costs associated with providing house-to-line water/sanitary sewer services for the residents in Colonia La Presa.

2. Lake Casa Blanca Master Plan

The projected master plan will chart recreational and economic development of Lake Casa Blanca resources while emphasizing their conservation and enhancement. The plan will include commercial concessions such as a bait stand, canoe and kayak rental, boat excursions for fishing and wildlife viewing, and a restaurant. It will also chart possible development of ecotourism resources, including nature trails and kiosks for birding and nature photography. Applications for funding will be made to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and an application for matching funds to a federal or private foundation source. Possible match: Fish and Wildlife Service North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, CFDA 15.623.

3. Webb County Courthouse Annex Restoration/Rehabilitation Project

As a preliminary to application to the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Project, a master plan must be approved by the Texas Historical Commission. The Project no longer requires that the courthouse to be preserved be in active use as a meeting place for the Commissioners Court. Our Annex therefore qualifies as a courthouse at least 50 years old (built ca. 1915). The cap on funding is $6,000,000.00. Since the main courthouse was restored using bond funds, the full amount, if needed, should be available for this project. A 15% match is required. Cost of the master plan may be charged against this match at the discretion of the Commission.

4. Webb County Alternative Energy Advocacy Coalition

This potential project will propose to establish a Webb County sponsored non-profit 501(c)3 organization that will be dedicated to the advocacy of alternative energy initiatives. The non-profit organization’s mission will be to educate, support, and promote the benefits and necessity of integrating efficient, sustainable alternative energy strategies that shall lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. Toward this end, the Webb County Alternative Energy Advocacy Coalition will provide educational opportunities, resources, and encourage the general public to adopt and utilize sustainable alternative energy solutions in their lifestyle. The Coalition may provide demonstration models of workable, household and community scale sustainable alternative energy solutions. Potential funding sources may include the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Rural Development (RD), Central Power and Light (CPL), Chevron and other oil companies. Initial costs to acquire an IRS 501(c)3 designation will be approximately $2,500.00.

5. Webb County Veterans Museum Project

Webb County Economic Development Department staff is currently researching for possible museum funding opportunities if certain museum standards are going to be incorporated into this project. In other words, a structure with displays or exhibit of local Veteran memorabilia may be locally called a “museum” but if measured by certain standard for museums, it may not be eligible for funding considerations under certain grant programs. Economic Development staff is currently obtaining additional information from the County Commissioners Court in order to correctly understand the Court’s goal and objectives in the development of this project. The estimated project cost is $1,000,000.00 with a projected county match of $500,000. Webb County staff is in the process of identifying a potential funding source for this project.

6. Villa Antigua Museum, Arts and Tourism Revitalization Project

Webb County has acquired four properties in the San Agustin Historic District, close to the Ortiz and Montemayor houses. The Villa Antigua Museum, Arts and Tourism Revitalization Project will establish a museum within the Montemayor House whose mission is proposed to preserve the “historic and cultural heritage of the Laredo border region.” The project shall also renovate and re-designate the four acquired residences as commercial venues to be made available to businesses compatible with the historic nature, artistic and architectural heritage of the area. Possible businesses include restaurants, art galleries, artisan shops, bakeries, confectionaries and similar outlets designed to appeal to tourists. Applications for funding will be made to the United States Economic Development Administration and to the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Heritage Trails Program.

7. Relocation of the Public Shooting Range

The area around the current pistol and rifle range, located near the intersection of Bob Bullock Loop and Hwy 59/East Saunders, was isolated when the range was built. It is now heavily developed, with residential subdivisions, a golf course and commercial establishments immediately surrounding. The range serves both the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff’s Department as a practice and training facility, as well as local hunters and sport shooters. Their numbers are increasing, and the facility is no longer adequate or appropriately located. The County will acquire appropriate property, through either donation of new land or designation of current County land, for a pistol and rifle range at a safe distance from residential and commercial development. The site will be easily accessible from populated areas within the County, yet not within an area that will be built up during the reasonably expectable life of the facility. The new pistol and rifle range will include outdoor ranges for rifles, and indoor and outdoor target shooting for pistols. Associated infrastructure will include parking, security fencing, electricity, drinking fountains, restrooms, seating and landscaping.

8. Webb County HUD Neighborhood Initiatives

Webb County Economic Development Department staff will coordinate with the office of the Hon. Henry Cuellar, U.S. Congressman – 28th District of Texas to arrange the placement of Webb County by Congress in the HUD Conference Report for the 2009 Neighborhood Initiatives funding cycle. Only entities on the HUD Conference Report may apply for and receive Neighborhood Initiative grant funds. Webb County, if named in that Conference Report will receive an invitation and application from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the grant. Webb County proposes to apply for $500,000.00 in HUD Neighborhood Initiatives funding for the following colonia improvements activities – Indoor Plumbing improvements, Augmentation of the Webb County Self-Help Center Tool Library, Housing Rehabilitation for Colonia Residents with Special Needs and New Construction activities.

9. Webb County Community Action Agency Central Kitchen

The Webb County Community Action Agency (CAA) currently leases the kitchen facilities in the old Doctor’s Hospital located at 500 E. Mann Road – Laredo, Texas for food preparation activities to serve the Elderly Nutrition Program and the “Meals-On-Wheels” Program. The CAA Elderly Nutrition and “Meals-On-Wheels” staff prepare approximately 450 meals on a daily basis to serve their targeted populations. The leased facilities are obsolete and inadequate for the current and projected food preparation increases for the aforementioned programs. Webb County Economic Development Department staff is researching funding opportunities to construct a Webb County Community Action Agency “Central Kitchen” facility that shall be equipped with state-of-the-art industrial kitchen and food preparation equipment to meet the current and future needs of the CAA programs. Funding will be sought to provide for the acquisition of property that is centrally located to best serve the CAA program, facility construction, and the required kitchen equipment. Projected cost of the Webb County Community Action Agency Central Kitchen is $1,000,000.00 with County match of $250,000.

10. Community Housing Development Organization designation for the Webb County Housing Finance Corporation

This proposed project is designed to create a Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) recognized Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) designation for the Webb County Housing Finance Corporation (WCHFC). The CHDO designation is required for the Webb County Economic Development Department (EDD) to apply on behalf of the WCHFC for housing assistance funding available through the TDHCA that are specifically earmarked for CHDOs. The WCHFC was created in July 1995 as a public non-profit organization whose sole mission is to increase home ownership in Webb County. The WCHFC was able to secure $13.32 million in state-authorized, single-family mortgage revenue bonds. The proceeds from the sale of those bonds, which are tax-exempt, have been used to finance a First-Time Homebuyers Program that assisted approximately 220 homebuyers in Webb County at below-market interest rates. The WCHFC has been dormant during the past several years following the completion of the down payment assistance program.

11. Renewable Energy Demonstration Program

Funding Agency: Texas Department of Agriculture
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding to be Requested: $100,000.00
Match: Undetermined

Webb County shall hold a public hearing in accordance with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs –Renewable Energy Demonstration Program Application process in order to acquire public input to establish community need and identify potential projects. The TDHCA Renewable Energy Demonstration Program grant application is scheduled for submission in 1st quarter of 2011.

12. Webb County Colonia Street-Lighting Project

Potential Funding Agency: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs -Office of Rural and Community Affairs
Estimated Amount: Undetermined
Match: Undetermined

This potential project would provide for street lighting to be installed within the colonias of Webb County. The street lighting materials could include lamps, street posts and wiring. Webb County Economic Development Department staff is inquiring if renewable energy technologies could be integrated into this street lighting project to minimize the utility burden such a project could place on Webb County.

13. Laredo-Webb County (Detox) Family Recovery Center

Approving Agency: Undetermined (Similar facilities funded through regional foundations)
Requested Funding: $ 1,416,993.00
Match: Undetermined

Illegal drugs are involved whether directly or indirectly in 78% of all offenses that are processed by the Webb County Juvenile Justice System. As a result of this rising trend, Webb County proposes the construction, staffing and operation of the Laredo Family Recovery Center as part of its Juvenile Justice Youth Village Program. The Center will be a twenty-bed residential drug treatment facility that will provide on-site individual, group and family therapy to detained juveniles. Space permitting, the center will also be available to other community youth who may benefit from its services. The Center will offer its clients a nine-month course of treatment that will assist them in maintaining long term recovery, completing at least a high school education, and preventing recidivism. Projected cost of the facility is currently $1,416,993.00. Webb County will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Laredo Family Recovery Center following construction, both through the County’s annual budgets for the Youth Village and through the aggressive seeking of grant funds. The proposed project has been forwarded to the staff of the Hon. Henry Cuellar, U. S. Congressman – 28th Congressional District of Texas for assistance in identifying a federal funding source for this project.

14. American Legion Post 59 Designation and Historical Marker – Recorded Texas Historical Landmarks (RTHL) Project

Review and Approving Agency: Texas Historical Commission
Requested Action: Designation as a RTHL
Match: $0

The Webb County Department of Economic Development in partnership with the American Legion Post 59 is in the process of preparing an application to the Texas Historical Commission for the designation of the American Legion Post 59 building located at 809 Zaragoza Street (within the San Augustine Historic District and the Webb County Villa Antigua project area) as a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark. This designation will result in recognition of this building’s historical significance and the placement of a historical marker on the said building.

15. Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Station

Approving Agency: Undetermined (US Department of Agriculture - Rural Development's Community Facilities Program)
Requested Funding: Undetermined
Match: Undetermined

Development and submission of this grant is contingent on the requirement that members of the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department meet the qualifications in accordance with Texas HB 2604. This legislation requires that an eligible applicant be a designated 501(c) 3 non-profit and State of Texas Charted Volunteer Fire Department. A Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) is also required. Under the USDA-RD Community Facilities Program, Economic Development staff may apply for funding up to 75% of total construction cost of a Fire Station facility. Fire-fighting equipment would also be an eligible expense. The USDA-RD Community Facility funding is primarily reserved for special entities such as empowerment zones, enterprise communities or Native American projects. However, any eligible applicants may apply for funding if match requirements can be met.

16. Tanker/Large Brush Truck for the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department

Approving Agency: Undetermined (Texas Forest Service)
Requested Funding: Not to exceed $ 155,000.00
Match: $ 17,000.00

Development and submission of this grant is contingent on the requirement that members of the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department meet the qualifications in accordance with Texas HB 2604. This legislation requires that an eligible applicant be a designated 501(c) 3 non-profit and State of Texas Chartered Volunteer Fire Department. A Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) is also required. Economic Development staff may apply on behalf of the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department for a Tanker/Large Brush truck to the Texas Forest Service for up to 90% of the actual cost not to exceed $155,000.


17. Fire-fighting Equipment for the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department

Approving Agency: Undetermined (Texas Forest Service))
Requested Funding: Undetermined
Match: Undetermined

Development and submission of this grant is contingent on the requirement that members of the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department meet the qualifications in accordance with Texas HB 2604. This legislation requires than an eligible applicant be a designated 501(c) 3 non-profit and State of Texas Charted Volunteer Fire Department. A Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) is also required. Economic Development staff may apply on behalf of the Los Botines Landowner Association – Rural Volunteer Fire Department to the Texas Forest Service for Fire-fighting equipment for up to 75% of the actual cost not to exceed $9,000.


18. Webb County Housing Rehabilitation Grant Program – Rio Bravo

Funding Agency: Undetermined
Requested Funding: $ 100,000.00
Match: $ 0

Webb County proposes to rehabilitate four (4) homes at an average cost of $22,500 per house in the City of Rio Bravo that is located in South Webb County adjacent to South Highway 83 and Espejo-Molina Road. Webb County shall use 10% or $10,000 for administrative costs.


19. Webb County Housing Rehabilitation Grant Program – El Cenizo

Funding Agency: Undetermined
Requested Funding: $ 100,000.00
Match: $ 0

Webb County proposes to rehabilitate four (4) homes at an average cost of $22,500 per house in the City of Rio Bravo that is located in South Webb County adjacent to South Highway 83 and Espejo-Molina Road. Webb County shall use 10% or $10,000 for administrative costs.

20. US Highway 59 Colonias ROW Acquisition Project

Approving Agency: Texas Department of Rural Affairs - Community Development
Requested Funding: $ 800,000.00
Match: $ 0

This proposed project will involve right-of-way acquisition activities within the U.S. Highway 59 Colonias located approximately 23 miles east of the City of Laredo. Currently, the roadways are privately owned. Therefore, Webb County is unable to maintain these private roadways that become impassable during inclement weather by vehicles or school buses. This proposed project will allow Webb County to acquire these roadways to make possible the maintenance of the roadways and acquire the easements necessary for the future provision of water and sewer services.

21. Webb County- Buenos Aires Community Center Park – Outdoor Recreational Project

Funding Source: Undetermined
Requested Funding: $ 100,000
Match: $ 100,000.00 (Cash Match)

The proposed project requires funding for the construction of a park in the area surrounding the proposed Buenos Aires Community Center building site for an amount not to exceed $100,000. The project site is already available and Webb County shall utilize already committed development funds to provide the required project match. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was a potential funding source; however, the agency is suffering from huge budgetary cuts. The Economic Development staff is actively researching potential funding sources for this project.



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