Brenham City Council approved bids totaling $1.18 million for emergency road repairs to the Brenham streets at their meeting Thursday. The Burleson Street and Jefferson Street crossings of Higgins Branch as well as the Barbee Street crossing of a tributary of Hog Branch were damaged during Hurricane Harvey. All three crossings were also undermined by flood waters during the May 2016 flooding. City Engineer Lori Lakatos said she would be meeting with the contractors on Friday and that repair work is expected to begin next week.
Council also authorize the city to fund the repairs regardless of if or when the FEMA funds appear for the project. Several of the council members expressed their frustration in dealing with FEMA and its slowness in reimbursing the city for the repairs due to flood damage. Assistant City Manager Lowell Ogle stated that he has been working with Congressman Michael McCaul’s office to draft a letter to FEMA about the situation.
Council also approved a request for assistance through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Lakatos said that the program may be a potential source of funding for this and other projects.