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Cottonwood Shores issues disaster declaration

Forty-eight hours after Gov. Greg Abbott declared Texas to be in a state of emergency, Cottonwood Shores Mayor Donald Orr took the same action for his city.

Orr asked the City Council to extend his seven-day declaration to 30 days, which it did, during a Feb. 18 meeting.

Orr noted the declaration allows the city access to additional state and federal funding in response to the winter storm. 

“The governor has declared a disaster, Burnet County has declared a disaster (on Feb. 14),” he said. “The last time we (declared a disaster) was the flood in 2018. We were able to recoup (75) percent of our expenses. Unless you declare this emergency, you don’t get any of it.”

Frigid temperatures and rolling blackouts froze pipes at the city’s water tower Feb. 17, which cut off water to residents and businesses. As temperatures rise, city leaders will continue to examine infrastructure and evaluate what has been damaged. The disaster declaration is there to ensure that if the winter storm leaves more destruction, the city has an opportunity to recoup funds. 

The council also approved multiple resolutions to accept a $300,000 community development block grant for which the city only has to have a $15,000 match. 

The grant will be used to build a fifth lift station in the western part of Cottonwood Shores in preparation for the coming homes that will be built in the next few months. Lennar Homes has committed to building 60 in the city. 

“We’re preparing for more houses, and that’s why that lift station has to be built,” Orr said.

The council also reappointed Manny Trinidad, Jim Bristow, and Ray Whitis to the adjustment board. Residents are also needed to serve as alternates. Interested residents can contact City Hall at 830-693-3830 for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com