By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer
Waco is now looking into having upgrades and improvements that could be made to it’s facilities which will help it adapt to the extreme changes that have been affecting the city.
On Aug. 10, the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. This bill could help provide fundings for many special programs that are specified in the infrastructure industry. These include the Department of Transportation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among others.
Although there is no specified amount of money that will be designated to Texas, and more specifically Waco, there are plans behind what the city wants to focus on improving for the citizens.
“One of the things that we’re interested in is the raise grant, [which] is for the Department of Transportation,” City of Waco chief of staff Ashely Nystrom said.
Waco currently has many projects lined up, waiting for funds to become available in order to begin working on them.
Nystrom said Waco is looking to invest over $80 million in infrastructure in the coming year.
“We’ll see a lot of infrastructure improvements over the next five years,” Nystrom said. “If we get funding from this bill, that will supplement some of our projects.”
Aside from the infrastructure bill, Waco was recently allocated $34.7 million in the American Rescue Plan. Waco has been prioritizing sustainability and resiliency in dealing with the city’s environment.
Waco recently presented to its council it’s “After Actions” review from the winter storm in February, which will allow them to look at gaining some upgrades that will help them to adapt to unforeseen extreme weather events.
“I feel like this town is not very privileged,” San Antonio sophomore Timothy Flores said. “Helping people with that would be really good. I heard people went through a lot of floods during the storm, so it’s good there will be help provided within that area.”
San Antonio junior Alice Shelly said she believes that many people in Waco will benefit from the help the city is planning to provide because everyone was affected by it.
According to Nystrom, Waco continues to plan ahead of time to make sure that the funds they could potentially receive in the future will be beneficial for the community and will move the city toward becoming more improved and resilient.