By Jon Schroeder

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE – With Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation funding in hand, Coryell County is taking some unusual steps to find more.

Since the county has received $530,000 in FEMA funding so far (a 75 percent contribution), the county must come up with about $177,000 (25 percent) to match.

Coryell County is trying to bring in at least part of its expected contribution from the Office of Rural and Community Affairs. It's unusual but legal – County Judge John Firth says he's been assured.

Coryell County commissioners voted Monday to submit a Disaster Relief Fund application to ORCA, asking for money to cover the matching funds that the county must pay for approved FEMA projects.

ORCA funds recently became available for the 2008 fiscal year, but they might not be there long. Firth said it will all likely be allocated within a month.

"There's so many requests (from Texas governments) that they expect to make distribution decisions on all remaining funds (at the next meeting of the State Review Committee, on Dec. 14)," Firth said.

As Precinct 4 Commissioner Elizabeth Taylor explained in Monday's meeting, "If we have a $20,000 project and we've already got $15,000 from FEMA, we're asking for that last $5,000."

The commissioners' current application to ORCA is for up to 100 percent of Coryell County's 25 percent contribution.

In some cases, the work has already been completed, but Coryell County officials are still working to keep county costs at a minimum. The grant they're requesting would cover work already done as well as work to be done on future projects.

ORCA has already approved $350,000 for the county to use toward the Gloria and Jesse Hornsby Memorial Bridge in the Big Valley subdivision.

Besides their work with FEMA and ORCA, county officials are also seeking money from the Governor's Office of Emergency Management. While they originally planned to submit 14 section 404 requests, there are only four viable requests remaining.

"We're still working aggressively in every one of these areas," Firth said.

Contact Jon Schroeder at or call (254) 547-0428

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