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Marble Falls receives $2.5M grant for flood-resistant wastewater plant

Roger Williams at CAPCOG meeting

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-District 25) at the announcement of a $2.5 million grant for construction of a flood-resistant wastewater treatment plant in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Alex Copeland

The city of Marble Falls received a $2.5 million grant for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant that won’t wash out in a flood as it did in October 2018. The grant was announced Thursday, Sept. 3, at a Capital Area Council of Governments‘ presentation at Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls. 

“Marble Falls knows all too well the damage that a flood can have on a community,” said U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-District 25) at the presentation. “Money spent on mitigation efforts, which is important, is far less expensive than rebuilding after the fact, which is why infrastructure funding is vital.”

In October 2018, the Colorado River rose 15 feet, causing extensive flooding, property damage, and land erosion in Burnet and Llano counties. More than 130 homes and businesses were damaged, and the city’s only wastewater plant was inundated by water. The new facility would effectively lift the control room and other vulnerable mechanisms to such a height that only an extremely severe flood would impact the plant.

The grant project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, which gave the U.S. Economic Development Administration $600 million in additional funding for disaster relief and recovery in areas affected by major natural disasters occurring in 2018 and tornadoes and flooding in 2019.

The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) facilitates the project through regional planning efforts and is more generally funded by the EDA to develop partnerships between public and private sector entities.

“We all know in this area, it’s not if there’s going to be another flood, it’s when is there going to be another flood,” Marble Falls Mayor John Packer said. “If some of those thunderstorms went farther south yesterday, we could be watching floodwaters here right now.”

The EDA grant will be matched with $625,000 in local investments.