Economic Development


Lower Neches Valley Authority
Economic Development Policy
The Lower Neches Valley Authority of Texas (LNVA) was created in 1933 to develop and manage the waters of the State within the Neches Basin. The Authority was granted powers to conserve, store, control, preserve, utilize, and distribute the waters of the Basin of its respective area for the benefit of its residents. The State Legislature, in 1933, granted authority to LNVA to operate within Tyler, Hardin, Liberty, Chambers and Jefferson Counties, located within the Neches River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin. In 1997 LNVA's enabling legislation Section 13B was amended to expand its economic development program to include a) education, b) transportation, c) Public Safety, d) recreation, e) health care, f) water and wastewater treatment, g) and contribute to the health and development of a community to improve the attractiveness of the community to public and private enterprise.
LNVA is governed by a Board of Directors composed of nine persons, two of whom reside within Tyler County, two from Hardin County and five from Jefferson County. They are appointed to six- year terms by the Governor of the State of Texas, and serve without salaries. The Directors are responsible for making policies under which the Authority functions and to oversee its operations.

Responsibilities of the authority include:

Economic Development Initiative
Goal: Increase the economic vitality of the Neches and Angelina River Basins as it relates to the overall mission of the Lower Neches Valley Authority
Objective: Work in tandem with existing organizations to complement economic development efforts through:
1) Public Outreach / Marketing
2) Technical Service
3) Economic Growth

Funds to cover the activities of the Economic Development Program are generated from a 1-cent rate per 1,000 gallons on raw water sales to Industrial and Municipal customers. Economic Development activities for Public Outreach/Marketing, Technical Services and Economic Growth will be reviewed by the Business Development Committee and presented in writing for action by the Board on a project-by-project basis at least 48 hours in advance of the next Board meeting. If the notice period cannot be met, the item will be submitted at the next regularly held Board meeting. This paragraph takes precedence over any apparent conflict by other paragraphs that follow.

Purpose: The purpose of this program is to promote the improvement of the quality and quantity of service essential for the development of a viable community as they relate to achieving the mission established by the Lower Neches Valley Authority. Major activities will include:

Funding: The Lower Neches Valley Authority is prepared to assist in the construction of improvements of water and wastewater services by providing access to funds that supplement local matching funds for established federal and state grant programs. These funds are intended to leverage existing local matching funds for the established construction grant programs. This program does not include funds for local management plans or administrative expenses. Established programs include the USDA Rural Utilities Service Program, The Texas Community Development Program, and the Texas Water Development Board Program. The LNVA Program will consist of low-interest loans and/or local matching grants as specified below:

1) Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Assistance - Low-interest loans shall not exceed $100,000 per project for construction of water and wastewater infrastructure improvements. The Board of Directors will establish interest rates. Project applications will be reviewed based on an approved rating system by an evaluation team designated by the Business Development Committee. A recommendation will be submitted to the Board for action at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting if the 48-hour notice can be met.
2) Special Assistance for Private Enterprise Projects - low-interest loans or grants shall be approved on a case-by-case basis where the project improves water availability, water quality, water management, or enhances economic growth within the Authority's jurisdiction. These special assistance projects shall not exceed $50,000 per project and shall be reviewed by the Business Development Committee and submitted to the Board of Directors for action at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. If the 48-hour notice cannot be met, the matter will be scheduled for the next Board meeting.

Eligible Recipients:
1) Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Assistance - Low-interest loans shall not exceed $100,000 per project for construction of water and wastewater infrastructure improvements. The Board of Directors will establish interest rates. Project applications will be reviewed based on an approved rating system by an evaluation team designated by the Business Development Committee. A recommendation will be submitted to the Board for action at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting if the 48-hour notice can be met.
1) Communities / Cities within the Neches and Angelina River Basins and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin
2) Private enterprise projects within the LNVA service area.
3) Counties within the Neches and Angelina River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin
4) Customers serviced by LNVA
5) General and special law districts created in accordance with state law, and with the authority and responsibility for water supply, wastewater treatment, water quality protection or municipal solid waste management and located within the Neches River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin.
6) Entities within the Neches River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin where regional solutions meet the areas needs.
7) Council of Governments (COG's), institutions of higher education or other governmental entities within the Neches River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin.

The conduct of projects provided funding under this program shall be in accordance with all applicable state and local statutes, rules, regulations, and guidelines.

Rating System: Applications will be rated on the criteria below:

Private Enterprise Projects - these projects will be reviewed by the Business Development Committee and submitted to the Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting provided the 48-hour notice can be made. Qualifying criteria will include:
1) Projects that directly affect land adjacent to reservoirs and waterways managed by LNVA
2) Local commitment and need
3) Match to LNVA Mission
4) Enhances economic development within the Authority's Boundaries
5) Ability to repay low-interest loans

Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Assistance

1) Community Distress - does this project improve a serious water-related health problem or move an "out of compliance" system into state or federal regulation compliance?
2) Project Impact - is this project a new system or expansion of an existing system? Does this project meet long-term needs and how will it be maintained?
3) Match to LNVA mission - does this project match LNVA's mission to improve the water availability, water quality and water management of the Neches River Basin and the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin?
4) Local Commitment - does this project show local commitment of the community or service area involved? How many local resources are being committed?
5) Grant Status - what is the status of the federal or state grant application that these funds support?

How to Apply: A project application form must be submitted to the Lower Neches Valley Authority for consideration of funding assistance. Financial reports and a list of outstanding loans will be required to apply for any of the programs.

Low-interest Loans - Recipients will be required to enter into standard legal agreements with the Lower Neches Valley Authority, to ensure that the approved work project of the program is followed.

Local Match Grants - Grant funding may be provided after proof of expenditure or paid directly to the funding entity.

Loan and grant recipients must: