Rosenberg Mayor Bill Benton has preached time and time again that he is a fiscal conservative.

He’s run a campaign over the span of 10 years to pinch pennies and lower taxes.

But when it comes to gambling $12,000 on a $12 million grant proposal, he said spending that money was a no-brainer.

At the Rosenberg City Council meeting Tuesday, council unanimously agreed to approve engineering services for the Community Development Block Grant — Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) applications for various drainage improvement projects.

Costello, Inc. will assist the city in preparing an application for the CDBG-MIT grants. The company will charge the city $12,500 for its services.

The applications will be for drainage infrastructure improvement projects utilizing grant funds from the 2015 and 2016 flood events, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The applications will be ranked and prioritized. Public works Director Rigo Calzoncin said that there is no guarantee the city will receive any of the available grant funds.

“The grants cover the cost of construction, it just doesn’t cover the cost of putting in the application,” Calzoncin explained. “We’re going to be looking at some pretty big projects on this.”

According to Calzoncin, the city could receive up to $12 million worth of grants.

“I think this is worth the gamble,” Benton said. “This looks like a lot of work. Are y’all willing to gamble $12,500 for the possibility of netting $12 million?”

Council member Jacob Balderas said it’s worth the gamble.

“The reality is the city has fairly good luck with getting CDBG grants,” he said. “We meet the qualifications, so there’s no reason to believe we’d be denied. Even if we get a portion of what’s proposed, it’s worth the expense,”

Council member Kevin Raines agreed, adding that anything that could improve the drainage in the city is worth taking a chance on.

The project areas include:

Dry Creek — from FM2218 to SH 36

Theater Ditch — from north of Avenue N to Dry Creek

Avenue N and Graeber Road intersection

Benton then made a motion for Costello, Inc. to assist the city in applying for the grants. The motion was seconded by council member Isaac Davila and passed unanimously.

“We need the improvements, folks,” Benton finished.

The next regular Rosenberg City Council meeting will be held via Zoom teleconference on Sept. 1.

Citizens will not be allowed to attend council meetings, but can still ask questions via letters, telephone or email.

Email comments to dswint@rosenbergtx.gov.

City council meetings can be watched live on the city’s YouTube Channel “RosenbergTXGov,” on the city’s website at www.rosenbergtx.gov/tv, and on Comcast Channel 16 for residents within the city limits.

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