The City of Woodville announced today that the City has applied for a Capital Fund grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture and was recently offered $600,000. The grant includes funds to assist with construction of infrastructure that will support the East Texas Electric Cooperative biomass project. Texas Capital Fund provides grants for infrastructure development to create or retain permanent jobs in primarily rural communities and counties. The ETEC biomass facility will be staffed with approximately 28 employees.
Woodville Mayor Ben Bythewood stated that the funding will specifically support the construction of a reclaimed water pump station at the city's existing wastewater treatment plant. "Treated water leaving the sewer plant will be reclaimed and pumped to the biomass facility for repurposing." Bythewood went on to remark that local officials and city staff have been working with ETEC representatives for months to secure the funds for this project with an application being submitted to the Texas Department of Agriculture in December.
On January 7, 2013, Mayor Bythewood and State Representative James White met with Department of Agriculture staff in Austin to discuss the project and the City's application. An offer of $600,000 was formally extended to the City of Woodville on January 10th. The total estimated cost for construction of the pump station exceeds $900,000. ETEC will be partnering with the city to fund the remainder of the project.