The Gonzales City Council discussed a $1.4 budget increase on November 13 for renovations to the Gonzales Civic Center. The money will be used to repair the damage incurred in last year’s historic flood. Fortunately, the expense is expected to be entirely reimbursed by the state and federal government.

First discussions were held on the proposal, on which a final vote will be taken in two weeks. The city has already been approved for a 90 percent reimbursement from FEMA. While the federal grant will pay a majority of the reconstruction cost, the state will cover the remaining 10 percent.

Chief Engineer Jackie Baumann said they are trying to change the award type in order to get more funding. She said the request is currently under review by FEMA. Although the budget could be upped by $1.4 million, she said actual costs are expected to be around $1 million. Budgeting a little higher will allow officials to cover unforeseen expenses, as well as federal fees.

The plans and architect estimates are also done, she added. The estimate has been compared to the actual cost to repair similar flood damage. Baumann said FEMA does not pay for improvements, but flood proofing will be covered. But she said the colors and interior of the civic center will be updated as part of the repair.

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