SAN ANGELO, Texas – San Angelo is in the midst of recovering from the recent winter storm. This means moving forward with needed water infrastructure repairs while juggling existing improvement projects. San Angelo Water Utility Director Allison Strube says the city had a lot of damage during the winter storm, including main breaks and surface leaks.
Currently the city is generating estimates to submit funding requests to FEMA. Beyond the underlying repairs, the city also aims to winterize other infrastructure such as pump stations, to prevent similar damage in the future. Despite juggling these issues, the city says they are still on track with capital improvements.
With no clear idea how long it will take to potentially secure FEMA funding, the city is trying to come up with other ways to make up the costs. “If we do not receive the federal funding or the assistance for FEMA or TDEM, we will just have to figure out how to pay for them and fund them through our own city funds,” explained San Angelo Director of Finance Tina Dierschke. “You know with streets that would come out of the general fund. The biggest source of revenue for the general fund would be property and sales tax and so that’s how we budget. But with an emergency like this we may have to look at other ways of funding some of the expenditures that are at a higher level.”
Dierschke also said it is the city’s hope to raise those funds without increasing fees or taxes, and without issuing debt. There are minimum thresholds that need to be met before that federal funding is granted, for Texas that number is almost $39 million. Currently, the city hasn’t yet been able to put down a concrete estimate for reimbursement.