The county commissioners court held a public hearing to receive comment on the CETRZ on Dec. 12, but no residents showed up, according to County Judge David Bowman.
“This is from the $225 million the legislature appropriated for county’s affected by the energy boom,” Bowman said. “All the counties throughout the state are eligible for some money.”
Goliad County is eligible for $440,518. Bowman said the commissioners court can determine the area to be the reinvestment zone 30 days after the Dec. 12 public hearing.
“We have been encouraged by legal counsel to designate a really small area,” Bowman said. “Even if you designate one area, you can take the money and use it anywhere in the county for roads and bridge projects.”
Bowman said the county would have to put up 20 percent matching funds to qualify.
“We would do a project and submit it to the state and they would reimburse us 80 percent of that project,” Bowman said.
The project could begin the next budget year, according to Bowman.
“We want to get the grant in so we can be approved for this initial round of funding,” Bowman said. “Any of the money that doesn’t go to grants this time, second-round money will be distributed again.”
Bowman said an advisory committee will be formed to prioritize possible projects.
“Each one of the commissioners are certainly going to come up with projects,” Bowman said. “It doesn’t really make a difference which one we select from the standpoint that we’re not bound by one project if we can use the money anywhere.”
Bowman said the commissioners could designate a reinvestment zone at their second meeting this month.
“We need to go ahead and designate one, because they open the application period on Feb. 7 and close it one Feb. 14. There’s a one-week period there we can submit the application.”
Residents can comment on the CETRZ on the county website at http://www.co.goliad.tx.us/default.aspx?Goliad_County/PublicCommentonCreatingCETRZ.