Gov. Abbott gives city of Houston $50 million for Harvey cleanup

- The room was full of smiles as Governor Greg Abbott handed a $50 million dollar check to Mayor Sylvester Turner at city hall Friday afternoon.

"He let me know that the city of Houston has some urgent needs that they need to have addressed and part of it is debris and some other things and it totaled $50 million dollars and I said this is what the state of Texas is for and what we can do, we are here to help you and to help you rebuild because we are one team together", says Governor Abbott.

The money which will be used to help the city recover from Harvey, came from the states disaster relief fund.

"Everything was on the table, how do we get to this and so that the Mayor was able to negotiate this with the governor is tremendously good news", says council member Karla Cisneros.

"This keeps the tax payers from getting kicked when they are down and that is an important step forward", says Senator Paul Bettencourt.

The governor says if needed the states rainy day fund will replenish the money in the disaster fund. Recently the state appropriated about $100 million dollars to help with disaster recovery across the state.

"We have the flexibility to spend the money we need to spend without having a special session and as the Governor said if there is a need later on down the road, we can do that but I think we can handle most of that easily", says Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

DEBRIS cleanup alone in the city will cost about $260 million dollars, which 10% percent of that, $26 million dollars, was going to be paid for by the potential property tax increase. Mayor Turner says because of the money given by the state, the tax is no longer needed.

"We will bounce back on our feet but I will tell you that the needs are tremendous, the costs are still there associated with it it's going to be some tough times even from a city perspective, even without moving forward with the proposed tax rate, it is still going to be tough", says Mayor Turner.
 

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