Grant money reimburses city for dome expenses

MERCEDES — City funds used to cover costs to complete the over-budgeted safedome’s $4.2 million price tag have been recaptured.

City Manager Richard Garcia said the city recently was awarded a FEMA grant worth more than $1 million to bridge the gap between the budget and overages in the construction of the new Saferoom/Recreation Center.

The facility was originally budgeted at the cost of construction, $3.8 million.

“We’re the first community that has actually been funded for any overages,” Garcia said. “We were funded at 100 percent to continue with the 75/25 percent split.”

The dome will be used as a shelter for Mercedes residents unable to evacuate in the event of a storm.

“It’s important to the City of Mercedes to have a safe haven to shelter our residents from the most violent of storms,” Garcia said.

The grant money came from the Texas Safe Shelter Initiative from the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

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