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Grant gives Nederland funds for generators

NEDERLAND — The city of Nederland was awarded a federal Hazard Mitigation Grant to help purchase generators for the city’s lift stations, money sent here due to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey damages.

The city submitted six project proposals to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and City Manager Chris Duque said the city was waiting to hear back on two more. Three projects were denied due to cost-benefit analyses.

The grant successfully awarded covers 75% of the cost with the city providing a 25% match.

“If they don’t see sufficient benefit based on what you’re anticipating the cost is, they become ineligible,” Duque said.

The city manager said getting funding for the generators was the city’s main priority.

“We saw it as a benefit,” Duque said. “In [Tropical Storm and Hurricane] Harvey, we had those massive power outages. We had those massive power outages in May, too. We were running on generators for about a day and a half. Those were paid through [Hurricane] Ike funds.

“That’s why these types of programs are important. It’s not just for hurricanes. It’s all disasters.”

The city will now go through a bid process to buy the generators.

“When [City Clerk] Gay Ferguson spoke to the people, they said we are one of the first cities to get funded,” Duque said.

Nederland is still awaiting word on a grant r

equest to put generators in the library.

“After a disaster, there are so many people needing to have access to information about assistance,” Duque said. “They need to know how to apply for it and get it.”

He said libraries, with the computers that are available there, provide the public with Internet access, making them important for information. They are also very important for the public to do job hunting after a storm.

“We need to have a public facility for people to use to help with the economic recovery and have access to that information,” Duque said.

Duque said the generators would also prevent books from being destroyed due to humidity if the power were to go out for a long period of time.

The second Hazard Mitigation Grant project the city is awaiting is a drainage project on South 35th Street between the Drainage District 7 canal and Avenue A.

“This is the only one that would not be tax supported,” Duque said. “It is a sewer project and would be paid through the water and sewer fund.”

The next Nederland City Council meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. June 24 at City Hall.