“Rural Texas communities face long recoveries and stretched budgets without federal aid” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
For 33 years, Debbie Gosnell has served as the city manager of Cross Plains, which is 44 miles southeast of Abilene. She’s helped the Callahan County town of around 1,000 residents through tornados and a fire that she said nearly destroyed the town in 2005. Now she’s helping the town recover after a historic freeze that affected every corner of the state.
All 254 Texas counties have received state disaster declarations by Gov. Greg Abbott, opening them up to additional state assistance. But more than half, including Callahan, have not been approved for federal aid by the White House.
With the budget for only three full-time maintenance workers, Cross Plains’ damaged and leaking water pipes might take months to completely fix. Gosnell said the city needs the emergency funds to save the city’s budget, make necessary repairs, and purchase emergency generators in case of similar freeze in the future.
Listen to Gosnell talk about what her town is dealing with in the weekend edition of The Brief podcast.
This article was originally published on Rural Texas communities face long recoveries and stretched budgets without federal aid