What to Know About the TWDB’s Proposed FIF Intended Use Plan
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has posted a Request for Public Comment on the proposed SFY24-25 Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) Intended Use Plan (IUP). The effort is part of the state flood plan process, which was first established in 2019 and is currently entering its second round of FIF funding where political subdivisions of the state who have projects included in the first cycle of flood planning can apply for financial assistance. The 88th legislative session appropriated $625M in new funds to the FIF, and this draft IUP aims to distribute $375M.
Passed by the Legislature and approved by Texas voters through a constitutional amendment, the FIF grant and loan program administered by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) provides financial assistance in the form of low to no interest loans and grants for flood studies, flood control, flood mitigation, and drainage projects. The first funding round is complete delivering over $500 million to communities across Texas. The second round will begin soon with the release of a new Intended Use Plan (IUP) and call for Abridged Applications. Eligible applicants include political subdivisions of the State of Texas such as cities, counties, and districts that have a flood mitigation project action recommended in a Texas Regional Flood Plan.
Highlights of the Draft IUP
- Covers a two-year cycle from 2024-2025
- Aims to distribute $375M in funds as a combination of grants and 0% loans
- Follows traditional TWDB two-step application cycle: abridged and complete applications
- Abridged application period opened December 15 and closes March 15
- Funding is available for matching with federal grant programs and is allocated among the following categories:
|Flood Management Evaluation
|Flood Mitigation Project
|Flood Management Strategy
- Project prioritization is based primarily on the proposed state flood plan ranking criteria while socio-economic factors largely determine the portion of grant vs. loan, which has a 0% interest rate
- Draft state flood plan ranked project lists for FME, FMS, and FMP were posted with the abridged applications. These lists are still considered draft, and there is no guarantee that highly ranked entities will pursue or accept funding, so any sponsor with an action recommended in an amended regional flood plan should consider applying
Next Steps for Cities, Counties, and Districts
Review the IUP and submit your comments to TWDB.
To provide feedback on the proposed funding distribution approach, please review the IUP and submit your comments to FIF@twdb.texas.gov by January 1, 2024. As a reminder, only FMEs, FMPs and FMSs listed in the July 14, 2023 Amended Regional Flood Plans are eligible.
Understand whether your project is listed in the amended regional flood plan.
Freese and Nichols can also help you determine whether your project is eligible for FIF funding. Even if your project is not eligible for this round of FIF funding, there will be more opportunities to participate and submit your projects for future funding rounds as the flood planning process enters its second cycle.
Prepare your application.
Prepare for the two-step application process: abridged and complete applications. The abridged application period opened December 15 and closes March 15. This application is a streamlined process for communities to express interest in funding and provide the minimum information necessary for the TWDB to prioritize the applications. A complete financial application is a TWDB document that asks for the detailed engineering, legal, fiscal and other information necessary to make a funding recommendation. As a reminder, the state flood plan ranked list has not yet been released in its final form, so any sponsor with an action recommended in an amended regional flood plan should consider applying.
Webinar: Learn More About Accessing Funds from the FIF
Learn more about how you can access FIF funding to protect your community from flooding disasters in our upcoming webinar discussing:
- Eligible applicants
- Eligible projects
- How grant funding will be allocated
- Major program requirements
- What to expect after submitting an abridged application
- Lessons learned from the first funding round, which occurred from 2020-2023
In addition, we will explain the eligible project types of Flood Management Evaluations (FME), Flood Mitigation Projects (FMP), and Flood Management Strategies (FMS), the ranking criteria, and how the Board will deliver funds to your project.
Webinar: TWDB Flood Infrastructure Funding Round 2 – What to Know
Presenter: Mark Evans and David Rivera
Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2023
Time: 11 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Freese and Nichols has assisted clients in winning over $57 million in funding in Round 1 for flood/drainage studies, constructed projects, and early warning systems. Our teams also worked on 12 of the 15 Regional Flood Plans, gaining vast knowledge about the stormwater and flood mitigation needs of communities and regions across Texas. Freese and Nichols is also a full-service engineering and planning firm, helping guide federal, state, and local entities through all steps of a stormwater and flood risk reduction program, and can help apply expertise in the latest modeling approaches, effective design, and policy development to your community.