Hurricane Ike recovery funds divided between East Texas counties

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS ( KTRE) - In the second round of Hurricane Ike recovery funding there is $208 million to share among 12 East Texas counties. The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) has the charge of equitable distribution. The formula is based on need.

"That (need must) reflect on unemployment, poverty, and low to moderate income population. Those kind of statistics is more reflective of where the money is targeted to go," Walter Diggles, DETCOG executive director explained.

The biggest need comes from outside of Deep East Texas, in Galveston County. Today the island learned it will receive over a hundred million dollars for housing and roads. UTMB is also benefiting from similar funding. East Texas leaders aren't objecting.

"Some of our indigent health care, people use that facility, so even though it's not out our back door and we don't see the benefits of having UTMB down there it is an asset to us to have that facility back up and going," Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English commented.

Tomorrow English will officially finalize a contract for over $6-million to construct an evacuation center in Nacogdoches County. He too will be asking for infrastructure funding from the second round of Ike recovery funds.

Comments can be made at public hearings on Friday. The first is in Livingston at 10a.m. at the chamber building. The second, is at 2p.m. in Lufkin at city hall.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.