On Monday, February 25, 2008, the Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA), a state agency, presented an oversized, ceremonial check to San Saba County, which received a Disaster Relief grant of $301,246 from the agency for the 2008 Community Development Block Grant funding cycle.
The county shall use the grant as a 25-percent match to funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address road damage caused by flooding in June and July 2007. A total of 31 FEMA projects have been identified on 101 county roads.
“The agency is one of the few sources of disaster relief grants in Texas,” said Charles S. (Charlie) Stone, ORCA’s Executive Director. “We are pleased to be able to assist San Saba County with their efforts to recover from the event that caused extensive damages to the area.”
Assistance from ORCA’s Disaster Relief Fund is available to communities and counties officially declared disaster areas by either the Governor of the state of Texas or the President of the United States. Providing this assistance is vital to successful recovery efforts in rural communities who have tapped out their funding options from other resources.
The Disaster Relief Fund is one of ORCA’s Community Development Block Grant programs, which provide financial assistance to cities under 50,000 in population and counties under 200,000 in population. ORCA’s CDBG funds, which come to the agency from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, are earmarked for rural public works projects, housing, economic development, planning projects, and activities improving living conditions in eligible areas of Texas.
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.