George P. Bush weighs in on post Hurricane Harvey recovery

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In May, Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush, announced a state action plan he sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The plan is a continued effort towards post Hurricane Harvey recovery.

During the DETCOG annual luncheon, Bush explained what the plan included.

"We're working with our congressional delegation at HUD to make sure that Deep East Texas is reimbursed for a lot of the cost and expenses," Bush said. "DETCOG will be partnering in managing that money along with our oversight and the restrictions replaced on us by HUB."

If the plan is approved $171 million dollars will be used for the seven Deep East Texas counties apart of the Presidential Disaster Declaration.

"Once it's allocated to the counties or cities of the local communities, they'll make decisions about the projects they'll use to fund with it," said DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt.

When asked about the tar incident on the Lufkin loop, Bush said small business initiatives will be taken out of a $5 billion dollar block grant.

"Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Brady came together on a bipartisan basis to make sure that we are taking care of small businesses," Bush said. "So there will be a $100 million dollars structured as a grant program not as a loan program."

HUD has 45 days from receipt to approve the state action plan and while that's in the works, Bush is preparing for another hurricane season less than ten days away.

"They key is going to be speed," said Bush. "It's making sure we get that money to counsels of government like DETCOG quickly enough so that we can get prepared."

Lonnie Hunt did tell KTRE news that board members will be meeting to discuss a fund distribution process.

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