The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission's Local Government Services Department (LGS) has been involved in the delivery of services relating to the Texas Community Development Program since its inception in 1983. During this time, LGS staff has worked with the Program through the Department of Commerce, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the Office of Rural Community Affairs, the Texas Department of Rural Affairs, and now the Texas Department of Agriculture. Since 1983, the LGS Department has written and administered the majority of the Community Development Projects in the region.
To date, we have been involved in 275 projects involving the use of Texas Community Development Program funds, with a total benefit to the region of over $65 million in GRANT DOLLARS ALONE. We believe this program is one of the best ways to meet the infrastructure needs of local cities and counties and look forward to continuing our work in this area. Every biennium LGS staff assists about 30 communities in developing applications for these programs.
Services in this area are generally related to assisting communities in identifying eligible needs, preparing grant applications (including all related and required beneficiary surveys, etc.), assisting the community in submission and presentation of the project proposal, and full-service, turn-key administrative services. When the LGS Department assists a community in administering their project, staff views itself as an extension of the city or county itself. At any given time PRPC staff is helping to administer 10-20 projects funded by the following sources:
Major areas of service in this program include the actual Texas Community Development Program, which is best suited to meeting routine infrastructure needs with funding of up to $275,000 available per project. Typical projects under this program are usually related to water or wastewater improvements, although there are many other eligible activities, including streets, gas system improvements, community facilities and others. This program accepts applications in the summer of even numbered years.
Under the Disaster Relief/Urgent Need fund, federal and state dollars are used to assist communities in recovering from the effects of a natural disaster such as tornadoes, flooding, and freezes or an unforeseen problem such as the failure of a major water storage tank or underground line. Texas Department of Agriculture requires a federal or state disaster declaration in order to establish program eligibility.