Almost $10.5M Secured for Clients from Flood Infrastructure Fund

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Mark Evans

Funding Specialist

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Hayes McKibben

Stormwater Engineer

FIF Funding Overview

Over the last few years, Texas has been struck with flooding, heavy rainfall events and hurricanes that have caused significant destruction across the state. While strides have been made in mitigation projects for flooding and associated damages, identifying and securing funding often impedes their completion. As a result, the 86th Texas Legislature passed multiple bills that have greatly improved flooding infrastructure funding in Texas.

In 2019, Texas voters approved Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment to create the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) to “assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation and flood control projects” and task the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) with administration and award of these funds. FIF funds are available as either grants or 0% interest-rate loans. There are four categories of eligible projects in the FIF: flood protection planning for watersheds; planning, acquisition, design, construction or rehabilitation of flood protection projects; federal award matching funds; and measures that are immediately effective in protecting life and property. The selection and award of funds are based on various criteria such as emergency need, socioeconomic metrics, non-flood-related benefits, historical and population data, and inclusion of green/nature-based solutions.

How has Freese and Nichols served its clients in securing FIF funds?

The FIF application process has two steps: an initial abridged application and a subsequent full application. For the first round of new funding, our team supported our clients to help them develop strong applications. Later in the funding process, 14 of the 14 full applications we helped prepare received awards, resulting in almost $10.5 million in grant funding.

FIF Step 1: Abridged Application

Number of Clients Number of Applications Number of Categories Total Requested
11 15 3 $127M

FIF Step 2: Full Application

Number of Clients Number of Applications Number of Categories Total Requested
9 14 3 $30M

Total Secured

Number of Clients Number of Applications Number of Applications Receiving Funds Number of Categories Total Secured
9 14 14 3 $10.5M

Currently, we are assisting our clients in securing the grant awards and getting their projects underway. Projects include a variety of drainage and flood studies, preliminary planning for flood mitigation, and assistance with location and installation of flood early warning systems.

Looking Forward

Like the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), a TWDB funding mechanism for water supply projects, future FIF awards depend on the identification of projects within regional flood plans. We are actively working with clients and communities in 12 of the 15 Texas flood planning regions to develop these regional flood plans, help identify projects and assess steps to receive funds in subsequent cycles.

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Mark Evans is a Funding Specialist in San Marcos.

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Hayes McKibben, EIT, CFM is a Stormwater Engineer based in Houston, Texas.