Local Leaders ‘Dumbfounded’ By Hurricane Recovery Deals

Local officials have been scratching their heads over the news that millions of federal dollars to replace rental housing lost in last year’s flood may be going to Schulenburg.

“I’m absolutely dumbfounded,” said County Judge Ed Janecka. 

The Hurricane Harvey flood in La Grange left an estimated 300 people homeless in the days following the flood. Schulenburg did not sustain any flood damage. The Texas General Land Office, the state agency tasked with distributing those funds, confirmed last week that it received two applications for rental housing developments in Schulenburg, one for 35 units and another for 40 units.

“When we first heard of it, we assumed they were going to be built in La Grange,” said La Grange Mayor Janet Moerbe. “We tried like crazy to figure out where it would go, whether it would be in the city limits. The next thing we hear, it’s going to be built in Schulenburg.”

“You’ll have to ask George P. Bush about that one,” said Janecka. Bush is the commissioner of the General Land Office and announced the funding award last month in La Grange. At the time, Bush did not say that the project was planned for Schulenburg.

GLO budgeted $8.9 million through its Affordable Rental Housing Program for projects in Fayette County and surrounding areas. Although the application deadline is Oct. 22, the agency already conditionally approved the first application it received, an $8.75 million proposal to rebuild one flood-damaged house on Lafayette Street in La Grange and to build 35 new units on property at the north end of Schulenburg. GLO has not named the developer.

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Fayette County Record

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