|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-08-26                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [SL]
Aug. 26, 2010
TPWD Sets Waterfowl Seasons; Outlook Bright
SAN ANTONIO - The stage is set for what could be one of the better waterfowl hunting seasons in recent years and Texas hunters will be able to take full advantage with a 74-day season and six bird daily bag limit. The 2010-11 late season migratory proposal was finalized by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Aug. 26 public meeting.
"Texas has water on the ground and when you factor in predictions for an early winter in the north, we're set up for a good season," said Dave Morrison, TPWD waterfowl program leader. "There's going to be a lot of production out of the Dakotas this year because of wet conditions and good habitat and I expect we'll see more birds migrating from and through the Central Flyway."
With a 9 percent jump in pintail breeding population estimates this year comes an increase in the daily bag limit to two, which should be a welcome addition for coastal waterfowlers that have been hunting under more restrictive measures for more than a decade.
The only other significant change from last year will see an increase in the Canada good bag limit for the Western Goose Zone where hunters may now take up to five Canada geese daily.
Texas also received a 16-day early teal season to run Sept. 11-26 with a daily bag limit of four birds.
Following is a summary of the Texas late season migratory framework for 2010-11.
High Plains Mallard Management Unit
All species other than "dusky ducks": Oct. 23-24, 2010 and Oct. 29, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011; "Dusky ducks": Nov. 1, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011; Youth-only Season: Oct. 16-17, 2010
North Zone
All species other than "dusky ducks": Oct. 30 - Nov. 28, 2010 and Dec. 11, 2010 -- Jan. 23, 2011; "Dusky ducks": Nov. 4 - 28, 2010 and Dec. 11, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011; Youth-only Season: Oct. 23-24, 2010
South Zone
All species other than "dusky ducks": Oct. 30 - Nov. 28, 2010 and Dec. 11, 2010 -- Jan. 23, 2011; "Dusky ducks": Nov. 4, 2010 - Nov. 28 -- Dec. 11, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011; Youth-only Season: Oct. 23-24, 2010
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, to include no more than five mallards of which only 2 may be hens; three wood ducks; two scaup; two redheads; two pintails; one canvasback; and one "dusky" duck. Dusky ducks include: mottled ducks, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids. For all other species not listed, the bag limit is six. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, which may include no more than two hooded mergansers.
Western Zone
Light geese: Nov. 6, 2010 - Feb. 6, 2011, daily bag limit is 20 and no possession limit.
Dark geese: Nov. 6, 2010 - Feb. 6, 2011, daily bag limit is five in the aggregate to include no more than one white-fronted goose
Eastern Zone
Light geese: Oct. 30, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011, the daily bag limit for light geese is 20 and no possession limit.
Dark geese: white-fronted geese: Oct. 30, 2010 - Jan. 9, 2011, daily bag limit is two;
Canada geese: Oct. 30, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011, daily bag limit is three.
Light Goose Conservation Order
Eastern Zone
Jan. 24 -- Mar. 27, 2011, no bag or possession limits.
Western Zone
Feb. 7 -- Mar. 27, 2011, no bag or possession limits.
Sandhill Crane
Zone A
Nov. 6, 2010 -- Feb. 6, 2011, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.
Zone B
Nov. 26, 2010 -- Feb. 6, 2011, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.
Zone C
Dec. 18, 2010 -- Jan. 23, 2011, daily bag limit is two and possession limit is four.
Extended Falconry Season
Ducks, coots, and mergansers:
High Plains Mallard Management Unit: no extended season.
North Duck Zone
Jan. 24 -- Feb. 7, 2011
South Duck Zone
Jan. 24 -- Feb. 7, 2011
For all zones the daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
Aug. 26, 2010
TPWD Implements Land and Water Plan, Ramps Up Park Repairs, Manages 5% Cut in 2011 Budget
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will focus spending next year around a revised strategic plan created with input from stakeholders and field staff, plus continue major repairs and improvements at dozens of state parks as part of the agency's 2011 budget.
Like all state agencies, TPWD gets authorization to spend money in the form of appropriations from the Texas Legislature. Appropriations come in two-year increments, and since 2011 is the second half of the state's 2010-2011 biennium, much of TPWD's financial profile is similar to last year.
The fiscal year 2011 operating and capital budget approved Aug. 26 by the TPW Commission totals $423.2 million, down from $468.8 million in 2010, though higher than 2009's $402.9 million. However, TPWD's biggest operating line item, for employee salaries and personnel costs, has stayed close to the same, at $148 million in 2011 compared to $146.3 million in 2010. The large changes in budget numbers are attributed to TPWD's capital budget.
For 2011, the capital budget for construction and repairs is $125.3 million, compared to $158.5 million in 2010 and $101.1 million in 2011. Capital construction and repair projects can have life cycles from one to five years depending on the complexity of the work, and bond funding is critical to these projects. These figures mostly reflect bond funding provided by the legislature and approved by statewide voters to make improvements at state parks and historic sites. (See Spring Brings Host of Texas State Parks Repair Projects.)
In developing the 2011 budget, the department made good use of the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Land and Water Plan). This plan was revised in 2010 after a year-long process involving 12 regional forums based on river watersheds to promote dialogue and planning with outside stakeholders and field staff.
The 2011 budget will focus on implementing the Land and Water Plan's four main goals: (1) Practice, encourage and enable science-based stewardship of natural and cultural resources; (2) Increase access to and participation in the outdoors; (3) Educate, inform and engage Texas citizens in support of conservation and recreation; and (4) Employ efficient, sustainable and sound business practices. The Land and Water Plan complements TPWD's legislatively-directed strategic plan called the Natural Agenda, which sets the framework for developing the agency's Legislative Appropriations Request.
The 2011 approved funding will enable TPWD to fulfill action items set in the Land and Water Plan, such as stocking a total of 39 million fingerlings in Texas waters, 24 million in Texas bays and 15 million in rivers, lakes and reservoirs; and increasing the number of acres under TPWD Wildlife Management Plans from 23.5 million to 26 million acres by December 2011, to cite two examples.
Like all state agencies, the department is also coping with a state-mandated 5 percent budget reduction due to reduced state revenue because of the down economy. For 2011, these cuts will limit TPWD's options and capabilities in several areas, but they should not disrupt core services and programs. The 2011 cuts total $13.1 million, including:
--$1.3 million - represents 5 percent of the total $25.2 million TPWD passes to the General Land Office to fund coastal erosion projects
--$1.1 million - unexpended funds due to data migration and transformation delays by the Data Center Services vendor
--$228,000 - reflects canceled plans to create a new off-highway vehicle state park in the Texas Panhandle along the Canadian River.
--$5.8 million -- reduces TPWD's ability to fund grants to cities and counties for local park projects
--$2.3 million -- eliminates merit pay and retention programs that reward outstanding employee performance
--$1.4 million -- reduces funds for capital repair and construction needs at agency facilities
--$881,000 -- reduces funds for equipment replacement, including vehicles, boats, tractors and other equipment
--$100,000 -- reduces functionality of a new integrated financial system by delaying implementation of some reporting functions
Background detail on TPWD financial affairs is available in links to budgets and strategic plans on the department website.
On the Net:

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[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Aug. 26, 2010
Game Warden named Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year
AUSTIN - Long-time Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Arthur McCall of Pleasanton has been recognized as Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year by Shikar-Safari Club International.
TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith, along with club president Happy Rogers and board member Louis Stumberg, presented the veteran wildlife law enforcement officer the prestigious award at today's meeting of the Parks and Wildlife Commission in San Antonio. This marks the 31st year this award has gone to a deserving Texas game warden.
"As a leader, Arthur shares his experience and expertise with younger wardens and continues to be a mentor to them," Smith said. "His dedication and commitment to protecting the natural and cultural resources of the state of Texas have made him a role model in his community and in the field of law enforcement."
McCall graduated from the 23rd Texas Game Warden Training Academy in 1969. After an initial assignment to Real County, he transferred to Atascosa County in 1971 and that has remained his duty station.
During his 41-plus-year career McCall has been commended numerous times for his professionalism. He consistently takes part in the "Who Done It Camps" and coordinates hunting trips for underprivileged kids as part of the TPWD Law Enforcement Division's public outreach activities.
In the enforcement side, McCall participated in the arrest of multiple violators of a poaching ring in South Texas, part of a covert operation dubbed "Venado Macho." More recently he conducted an investigation stemming from an Operation Game Thief call that resulted in the prosecution of an individual who killed two bucks in a one buck county. Restitution on the case came to more than $5,000.
McCall is one of the founding members of the Texas Game Warden Honor Guard. In 2007, the Honor Guard received the TPWD Outstanding Team Award for its commitment and dedication in performing at numerous events around the state, including ceremonies for fallen officers. Additionally, he is the Honor Guard's rifle squad leader.
When not enforcing the law, McCall is also a very accomplished artist and is represented by the Mooney Gallery in San Antonio. His work has three times been selected as the poster-print for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

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[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Aug. 26, 2010
TPW Commission Awards More Than $6.7 Million in Outdoor Recreation Grants
SAN ANTONIO -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today awarded more than $6.8 million in competitive grants for city and county parks, ball parks, swimming pools, nature trails and other outdoor recreation facilities across the state.
Commissioners approved 21 out of 58 grant requests from major urban municipalities and counties, as well as smaller Texas communities and governmental entities. The state matching funds were awarded through three programs administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the form of: outdoor recreation grants, urban outdoor recreation grants and small communities grants.
A total of $2.74 million in Outdoor Recreation grants was awarded to six of 25 local governments that applied for matching state funds to provide basic public recreation facilities. The monies come from sporting goods sales tax revenues that fund the Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1993 and from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Schleicher County received $500,000 in matching funds for the renovation of 5.8-acre Schleicher County Park in Eldorado. The money will be used to demolish the 55-year-old swimming pool and construct a new pool, as well as for installation of a walking trail, picnic tables, game tables, a playscape, educational exhibits, signage, trees and gardens.
The City of East Bernard was awarded $500,000 in matching funds to acquire 17.5 acres to develop a community park to be located in the northeast part of the city. Community Park will include a two-acre natural area, soccer field, basketball court, sand volleyball court, pavilion, trail, picnic tables with grills, butterfly garden, baseball field, batting cages, a canoe/kayak launch and lighting and plumbing fixtures for restrooms being donated to the project.
A matching grant of $500,000 was awarded to the City of Greenville to acquire 73 acres of city-owned, non-parkland to further develop Graham Park. The city proposes to add a lighted trail, disc golf course, lighted fishing pier, picnic tables, dog park, horseshoe complex with pavilion, lighted volleyball court and playgrounds, and to renovate the basketball court and preserve a 55-acre natural area.
Kendall County received a $500,000 in matching grant to develop 33 acres within the 375-acre Joshua Springs Park and Preserve for a 4-H Horse Club Youth Agricultural and Equestrian Center in the western part of the country between Comfort and Boerne. The new facilities will include an arena/show barn/pavilion with rainwater catchment system, equestrian trail, bird blind, RV campsites, dog park, amphitheater, picnic tables and grills, habitat garden, bio-filtration pond, interpretive signage and a kiosk.
The City of San Angelo was awarded $500,000 in matching funds to expand and further develop 2.38 acres along the Concho River Trail. The proposal includes a 2.38 acre natural area dedication, paddling trails launch dock and portage area, water access points/overlooks, trail, benches and seating areas, picnic shelter, interpretive amphitheater, natural playscape, exercise equipment, washer and horseshoe pits, bocce ball, lighting, drinking fountains, bike racks, xeriscape landscaping and interpretive signs.
The City of Los Fresno received a grant of $249,368 in matching funds to further develop the 4.22-acre Community Park in the western part of the city. Development will include a sports court, trail, pavilion, and restroom improvements, lighted skate park, splash pad, climbing boulders, game tables, horseshoe pits, playground, picnic tables with grills, benches, butterfly garden, water fountains and bike rack.
A total of $3.33 million in Urban Outdoor Recreation grants was approved for outdoor recreation projects in five counties and cities with populations exceeding 500,000. The 80th Legislature authorized the special funding when it created the Large County and Municipality Recreation and Parks Account (Urban Parks Account) by amending the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. Monies for the fund come from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) program whose revenues derive from a portion of state sales tax on sporting goods.
Fort Worth and Houston both received $1 million in matching funds to develop urban parks. The City of Fort Worth will use the matching state funds to acquire .48 acres of city-owned, non-parkland to further develop the Marine Creek Corridor in the north central part of the city. The city's plans call for the renovation of softball, soccer and multipurpose fields, trails with pedestrian bridge, playground, and pavilion; and development of a soccer field, trails, canoe launch/fishing pier, picnic tables, games tables, benches, information kiosk, walkways, trail signs, landscaping, plant restoration, and erosion controls.
Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston will undergo an extensive redevelopment thanks to the $1 million grant of matching funds awarded by the commission. Slated improvements to the 20-acre park include relocating several monuments and a historic home, renovating the Historical Museum and adding a water feature, playground, concert lawn, special event staging area, restroom, nature education area, walking paths and sidewalks, picnic tables, drinking fountain, gardens, native trees and highway bridge enhancement.
Also in Houston, Harris County will receive $997,200 in matching funds to acquire 2.27 acres to expand and develop Buffalo Bend Park, located along the Buffalo Bayou on S. Sgt. Marcario Garcia Drive in the East End, south of Highway 90. Plans for the park include solar-powered pump utilities, roads and parking, a restroom, storage shed, overlook shelter, trails, fencing, wetland boardwalks, floating dock/canoe launch, hand wash station, bird and bat boxes, exotic plant removal, native tree, shrub, and wetland plantings, butterfly garden, drinking fountain, benches, trash receptacles, interpretive signage.
Dallas County was awarded a $230,000 grant for matching funds to acquire by waiver 9 miles along both sides of the Trinity River, located south of IH20/Highway 635, in the southeast area of the county, and 385 acres along the Trinity River from Goat Island Preserve to Riverbend Preserve.
The fifth urban outdoor grant approved was in the amount of $112,600 for the City of San Antonio to further develop the 596-acre Friedrich Park located in the northwest part of the city. Improvements to be funded include an entry kiosk, walkways, benches, interpretive signs and landscaping.
Finally, a total of $722,796 in Small Community grants was awarded to 10 communities out of 25 that requested $1.7 million in matching fund assistance to provide basic public recreation facilities.
Six east Texas and two central Texas communities, as well as a Panhandle town were awarded $75,000 each in matching state funds to acquire and develop recreational facilities, such as public swimming pools and ballparks. In addition, Kempner near Lampasas was awarded $72,796 to develop that city's first park, which will include a playground, picnic pavilion and wildlife viewing area.
East Bernard in southeast Texas will use its grant to help acquire an existing 1.3-acre park with a swimming pool and renovate the bath house, and to install a butterfly garden and interpretive signage.
Near Houston, the Reid Road Municipal Utility District was awarded a grant to develop 2 acres of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD property adjacent to Willbern Elementary School. The $75,000 in matching funds will be used to build a trail with exercise stations, install an experimental garden and plant trees and wildflowers.
In northeast Texas, Cooper's request for matching funds was approved to make improvements to Harmon Park II. Improvements will include renovation of park trails, tennis courts and rodeo facilities and to develop basketball courts and RV campsite. White Oak received funding to further develop 14-acre Penick Park by installing a disc golf course and fishing pier and planting native trees.
The east Texas community of Trinity was awarded a grant to further develop the 6.71-acre Trinity Baseball Park. Improvements will include renovations to the baseball field and batting cages and installation of a butterfly garden. Palestine received a grant to renovate Reagan Park's bandstand and pavilion, and develop a sprayground, trail and do landscaping.
Two cities in the Austin area were okayed for recreation grants, as well. Bastrop will use the state matching funds to further develop an acre within Fisherman's Park/Spray Park by adding xeriscape, a concession stand, splash pad and picnic facilities. Taylor plans to use the matching funds to beautify the entrance to Regional Park and Sport Complex by planting trees, installing a wildflower garden and wetlands area, and making other improvements.
The Panhandle community of Lockney was awarded a $50,000 grant to totally renovate the city pool and deck.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Corky Kuhlmann, TPWD, (512) 389-4590 or corky.kuhlmann@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Aug. 26, 2010
Land Purchase Okay Will Expand Garner State Park
SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today gave the go-ahead for the purchase of a 113.5-acre tract of ranch land contiguous to the southern boundary of Garner State Park in Uvalde County.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has negotiated a contract to buy the acreage at the appraised value from private landowners. The land is owned by John and Taylor Cummings, whose father, Jack, grew up on the ranch and worked to help develop Garner State Park as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps. His sons later inherited the property from their aunt, who originally acquired the property in the 1930s.
Taylor Cummings retired to the ranch and still lives there. He will continue to live on the remaining 100-plus acres of the ranch.
TPWD approached the Cummings brothers about buying the property because it abuts the state's recently acquired Old Baldy tract on the west and runs all the way to U. S. 83. When the sale of the Cummings tract is finalized, it will straighten out the southern boundary of Garner State Park and result in roughly 2,200 feet of highway frontage. The land is well-suited for primitive camping and hiking.
When TPWD completes the pending land purchase, Garner State Park will encompass more than 1,600 acres.
Half of the funds to acquire the Cummings ranchland come from monies allocated by the 81st Texas Legislature and 50 percent from a matching grant from the National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Garner State Park ranks No. 1 among Texas state parks in overnight camping and records approximately 330,000 visits annually. It is open seven days a week. For camping fees and other park information, contact the park at (830) 232-6132.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Aug. 26, 2010
$3.3 Million in Trails Grants Awarded by TPW Commission
SAN ANTONIO -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Aug. 26 approved approximately $3.3 million for 23 National Recreational Trail Grant projects in communities across the state, as well as in 8 state parks and a wildlife management area. Included in the funding amount was $25,000 awarded to Texas 4-H for an All-Terrain-Vehicle safety program.
The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and ATVs. Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.
The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state's population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles.
The program provides 80-20 matching grants, so that in each case the grant recipient must pay for 20 percent of the total project cost. Dollar amounts shown below are 80 percent of the project cost.
The 10-member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.
A number of recreational trail grant projects funded in previous years were completed under budget and two projects were cancelled, resulting in the availability of $485,000 that was awarded to fund trail improvements in eight state parks and the Chapparal WMA. State parks that will receive grant monies are: Bastrop, Caprock Canyons, Cooper Lake, Huntsville, Lake Brownwood, Meridian, Seminole Canyon and Tyler.
List of funded trail-construction projects by county:
Angelina County -- U. S. Forest Service, $560,000 to plan and build a new, 15-mile motorized trail system with bridges and signs in Angelina Sabine National Forest.
Brazoria County - City of Freeport, $199,898 to renovate the 0.13-mile Wetlands Trail and build observation decks, a bridge and place signs.
Cherokee County -- Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, $32,950 for the Convergence Trail at Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site. Funds will be used to build a 0.24-mile crushed granite trail with benches and a sign designating its location on El Camino Real.
Childress County - City of Childress, $203,150 to construct a motocross track. Funds will be used to provide signage, comfort stations and restrooms.
Collin County - City of Farmersville, $200,000 for engineering and to build the new, 2.6-mile granite Chaparral Rail-Trail.
Dallas County - Dallas Audubon Society, $25,600 to renovate the Cedar Ridge trails and provide erosion control.
Dallas County - City of Garland, $40,000 for the Spring Creek Trail. Funds will be used to build a new 1.4-mile trail and renovate 2.6 miles of trail and add signs, trail markers and GPS coordinates.
Denton County - City of The Colony, $200,000 to construct the .094-mile, concrete Wynnewood Peninsula Trail and install benches and signs.
El Paso County - City of El Paso, $77,913 for the Three Hills Loop Mountain Bike Trail. Funds will be used to design and build a new, 3-mile portion of the trail and reclaim 2 miles the trail and add signs.
Ennis County - Texas Equestrian Trail Riders, $17,600 for the renovation of the existing 26-mile trail and Bardwell Lake Trail, which will include providing erosion control.
Guadalupe County - City of Schertz, $87,300 to construct the 1.8-mile, granite Schertz Trail and provide drainage and signage.
Harris County - Memorial Park Conservancy, $84,872 to renovate the 1.4-mile granite trail, build an additional 1.2 miles of trail, and provide signs and gates.
Harris County - City of Nassau Bay, $160,000 to build the 0.94-mile concrete Peninsula Trail and provide benches and signage.
Hays County - Hays County, $100,000 to build 3.15 miles of accessible Dahlstrom Ranch trails and install benches.
Hays County - Hayes County WCID #2, $190,000 for the Bear Creek Trail. Funds will be used to build 1.2 miles of new trail and renovate 2.6 miles of the existing granite trail, and to provide seating, signage and a water crossing.
Hidalgo County - City of Weslaco, $20,084 to build the new 0.66-mile granite Paseo del Norte Trail.
Lipscomb County - City of Higgins, $45,200 to construct the concrete Community Park Trail and pour a pavilion pad.
Lubbock County - American Wind Power Center, $43,560 to build the new, 0.37-mile Windmill Lake Trail, mark it with signs, put up a fence and install benches.
Medina County - City of Castroville, $8,000 to build the new 0.2-mile asphalt Lions Park Trail circling the park and to install benches.
Tarrant County - Haltom City, $200,000 for the Whites Branch Trail. Funds will be used to design and build the concrete, 1-mile trail and install a bridge and signs.
Travis County - City of Austin, $62,890 to renovate two miles of the West Zilker Park Nature Trail, and install steps, fencing and a storage shed.
Upshur County - Texas Motorized Trail Coalition, $54,000 to purchase a dozer and provide erosion control as part of Barnwell Mountain improvements.
Walker County - Greater Houston Off-Road Bike Association, $160,000 to design and build the new Hunstville Trail. Funds also will be used to construct bridges and erect signs.
On the Net: