A big project in Precinct 1 has finally gotten its funding in place, according to Commissioner David Hall.
Notification that the county had received the funding to repair the Chocolate Bayou boat ramp and bulkheads was received last Monday, Hall said.
“We’ve been working on this for two years, and everything was submitted last October, and we got notification last Monday,” he said.
The width of the boat ramp, built in the 1950s, will be expanded from 12 feet to 18 to 20 feet. The bulkhead will be extended north by 100 feet and south by 50 feet.
“It was dilapidated. This project will help people have access to fishing - whether by boat or from the bank,” said Hall.
Funds are provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Boating Access grant, which is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.
“There is always a lot of competition statewide for funding from these types of grants,” said Hall.
Hall noted that the process had to meet TPWD’s requirements as well as any from Fish and Wildlife. “With all the government requirements, it’s about a three-year project,” he said.
He said work is progressing slowly on the bulkheads. The Magnolia Beach project is waiting on the completion of the permitting process of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The last Corps permit took a year and a half so we’re probably looking at 10 to 12 months before the Corps will allow any construction,” he said.
Working to obtain grant funding has been an education, Hall stated.
“You do things the right way and don’t cut corners, which will cost the taxpayer in the long run. If you do it right, you’re good,” he said. “Start messing with water, and you can mess up habitat. It’s critical that it’s done right, or it can cause irreparable damage.”