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City Council allocates funding to address 2015 floods

City Council member looking over flood maps
Star File Photo

The San Marcos City Council met Tuesday to approve the allocation of $8.7 million to reduce flooding and repair infrastructure damaged by the 2015 Memorial Day floods. The council also discussed protecting students with unavailable housing, the removal of a city volunteer and how San Marcos will combat hate.

In 2016, the city received $25 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The total budget for the federal disaster recovery grants was more than $33 million. The city has spent the budget on infrastructure, housing, planning and administration charges.

The council voted to allocate $6.7 million of the $8.7 million funds toward the Blanco Riverine project. However, there is still room in the budget to allocate funds for housing destroyed by the floods.

The community stressed the importance of spreading the word regarding the housing rehabilitation grants for residents who have been affected by floods.

Residents affected by the 2015 floods can apply for these grants from Oct. 8 to Nov. 17. The city has held meetings, sent out information and gone door to door in order to educate citizens on this application. Both homeowners and renters are eligible to apply.

The next workshop is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 18 then again Nov 1. Both workshops will be held at the San Marcos Activity Center.

The council also voted on amending the land development code. Leases now offered to students are required to incorporate provisions ensuring temporary housing or the ability to terminate the lease. The most recent incident of a late move-in date is with the Pointe Apartments.

Jane Hughson, Place 4, said this is only the beginning of protecting students who experience unprepared housing. Hughson said she would eventually like to see food and transportation expenses allocated to the students.

Lastly, during the citizen comments, two speakers raised concerns regarding the social media account of Naomi Narvaiz.

Narvaiz is a member of the district’s School Health Advisory Committee. Activists have called for her removal from the position.

The council listened to the concerns of San Marcos residents, then began discussing the adoption of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. After amending and discussing definitions, the council voted unanimously to adopt this compact.

Council asked City Manager Bert Lumbreras to direct staff on crafting an action plan for this compact.

Mayor John Thomaides said that this compact is not just an adoption for the Mayor or City Council, the compact is an adoption for the City of San Marcos.