Senator Lucio's Letterhead

PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

Sen. Lucio announces $2.4 million in ORCA grants for South Texas communities Kleberg County also scheduled for $500,000 for colonia improvement projects

AUSTIN, TX -- State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. today announced an award of $2,394,101 in grants for infrastructure, public facility improvements and planning and capacity building activities to assist low- to moderate-income persons in seven communities throughout his district. The awards are the result of biennial competitions for the Office of Rural Community Affairs' (ORCA) Community Development Fund, and Community Development Supplemental Funds, which are part of the agency's federally funded Texas Community Development Block Grant Program.

"When we look at these grants, we need to consider how receiving basic necessities and living with modern infrastructure, considered routine commodities by many Texans, will raise the quality of life for these people," said Sen. Lucio. "I commend our communities and ORCA for working together to achieve this funding for the residents of one of the poorest regions of our state."

The following indicates the cities receiving the grants, the amounts of the grants and the number of persons to benefit from the improvements:

GranteeAmountPersons To Benefit
Combes$435,0612,739
Indian Lake$331,808354
Kingsville$300,000782
Laguna Vista$331,808240
Los Indios$331,80836
Lyford$331,8081,973
San Perlita$331,808680

Additionally, Kleberg County is also scheduled to receive a $500,000 Texas Community Development Program Colonia Construction Fund grant to provide first-time water and sewer service to residents of the Riviera colonia.

"These funds provide for the basic necessities that many of us take for granted," said Charles S. (Charlie) Stone, ORCA's Executive Director. "The monies are vital to rural Texas communities with limited funding options for infrastructure. ORCA's mission is to assist these communities in the most efficient, cost-effective means possible for the benefit of our fellow Texans, and these federally funded non-entitlement grants help us to help rural communities provide for basic human needs."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the funding source for ORCA's Texas CDBG Program, which administers the nation's largest state Community Development Block Grant Program. The Texas CDBG Program is a flexible, community-based program that provides much-needed resources to eligible rural communities and counties.

ORCA was created by the 77th Legislature to facilitate and focus the state's health, economic development and community development programs targeting rural communities in Texas. ORCA's programs and services support health care delivery in rural Texas, and address rural community planning activities, and housing and public facility needs such as sewer, water system, road, drainage improvements, and disaster relief funds.

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