(AUSTIN) - The Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA), a state agency, presented an oversized, ceremonial check to the City of Blanco, which received a grant of $250,000 from the agency’s Texas Community Development Block Grant program to install 2,955 linear feet of wastewater line with manholes on First Street, Pecan Street, Second Street and Park Road 23.
“The agency is pleased to assist the City of Blanco with this project,” said Charles S. (Charlie) Stone, ORCA’s Executive Director. “This grant comes from ORCA’s Texas CDBG program, the largest such program in the nation and a vital resource for rural communities with limited funding options for infrastructure.”
Kelle Odom, ORCA staff, presented the check to the city. ORCA administers the Texas CDBG program and is dedicated to helping rural Texans strengthen their communities by providing financial and other support for local basic public facilities and infrastructure needs, industries, services and households.
For the 2008 funding cycle ORCA received $71,779,088 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the administration of the Texas Community Development Block Grant non-entitlement program. In fiscal year 2007, ORCA received $73,611,737 for this program.
Every year, HUD provides federal Community Development Block Grant funds to states, which, in turn, provide the funds to small, rural cities with populations less than 50,000, and to counties that have a non-metropolitan population under 200,000 and are not eligible for direct funding from HUD.
The rural-focused TxCDBG program serves approximately 1,017 eligible rural communities, 245 rural counties, and provides services to over 375,000 low- to moderate-income beneficiaries each year. Of the 1,017 cities eligible for TxCDBG funds, 740 have a population of less than 3,000 and 424 have a population of less than 1,000. The demographics and rural characteristics of Texas have shaped a program that focuses on providing basic human needs and sanitary infrastructure to small rural communities in outlying areas.
As the state agency dedicated solely to rural Texas, ORCA makes the broad resources of state government more accessible to rural communities. ORCA was created by the 77th Legislature to ensure a continuing focus on rural issues, monitor governmental actions affecting rural Texas, research problems and recommend solutions, and administer rural-focused state and federal resources. ORCA is the door to Texas government for rural citizens. For more information, visit ORCA online at www.orca.state.tx.us.