Willacy looking for help to fund $25M activity facility

RAYMONDVILLE — A big dream needs lots of green.

So Willacy County is applying for federal money to try to fund a proposed $25 million sports and entertainment center.

Today’s the deadline to apply for a grant under the Restore Act to fund the phased development of the Willacy County Natural Resource and Heritage Center on 100 acres of county-owned land off State Highway 186 near Interstate 69.

The Restore Act was funded through penalties paid by oil companies found responsible for the April 2010 wellhead explosion off the Louisiana coast that led to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

In a recent meeting, Oralia Cardenas, a grant writer with Austin-based GrantWorks, urged county commissioners not to apply for the entire $25 million it would cost to develop the entertainment complex.

Instead, she said, commissioners should apply for smaller amounts to fund the project in phases.

If their request is rejected in the upcoming round of funding, commissioners can apply again, Cardenas said.

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