HOUSTON - Governor Greg Abbott was in League City Wednesday passing out checks to several communities to help pay for a portion of debris removal after Hurricane Harvey.
Those checks ranged anywhere from a few thousand to more than $1 million.
With a handshake and a hug, Dickinson Mayor Julie Masters is finally relieved after months of uncertainty.
“The cost of debris removal was so mind-boggling," Masters said. “It would’ve been devastating.”
And wondering how they would pay the trash bill left behind from Hurricane Harvey.
“We just didn’t have it, and we didn’t have anywhere to get it," Masters said. “Eighty percent of our homes and businesses were affected.”
But today, her prayers are answered in the form of Gov. Abbott.
“Today we are beginning to take the next step to assist the counties and cities address their financial needs," Abbott said.
The city of Dickinson is estimating the entire debris removal process will cost them about $11 million. FEMA is taking care of 90 percent of that, but the other 10 percent is left to the local governments.
But now, the governor has stepped in, giving eight different communities a check for 5 percent, saying another check will be coming later with the remainder.
“It’s huge, it’s well, well over half of our entire annual budget, so we couldn’t touch it," Masters said.
The money is coming from the state’s general revenue account, specifically, the solid waste disposal fee account. Seven other cities got their own piece of the pie.
But being hit the hardest, Dickinson got the most.
It’s just another leg up in what continues to be a long climb out of the floodwaters.
“People are still positive. They see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just slow, slow," Masters said.
Gov. Abbott will also visit Port Aransas and Port Arthur Thursday to hand out checks around those communities.
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